Posted by Anne Decker
It's that time of season, it's that time of year. The Allen County Fair is here!
Just a month before the beginning of the Allen County Fair, Governor DeWine restricted all fairs to junior fairs only due to the coronavirus pandemic. Allen County Fair Manager Bob Fricke told us that as a result, this year's fair is shorter than usual; it runs from August 21-27th and it is closed to the public. "We're going to back to what fairs started out as. They were livestock exhibits and harness racing was there. Then they grew into the commercial exhibits. This is going back to the most simplistic fair, probably it's what we started out as." There will be harness racing with no audience, the traditional livestock auction on August 27th at noon, and food vendors. Fricke says they've asked that the food vendors stay on the fairgrounds on the 28th and 29th to serve any members of the public who want their annual fix of fair food. Grandstand headliner Brad Paisley has rescheduled his concert for August 21, 2021. This year's tickets will be honored next year, or ticket holders can get a refund if they like.
On a positive note, Fricke told us that they have plans to construct a 60,000 square foot expo building. It will replace the aging sheep show arena, sheep barn and goat barn, and when the fair isn't going on, it can be used for commercial events and shows since it will be climate controlled. Fricke hopes to break ground in 2022 and be able to use it in 2023.