This year’s Wayne County Fair coming up September 12-17 will be different in many ways. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Dewine has ordered that fairs taking place after July 31st must be Junior Fairs only.
What does that mean exactly? A Junior Fair is the component of County and State fairs that contains exhibitions, shows, and events that are for youth. Typically Junior Fairs are comprised of youth organizations such as 4-H, FFA, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, etc. In Wayne County, our Junior Fair is primarily 4-H and FFA youth exhibiting their livestock and still projects. Livestock includes all Beef, Dairy, Goat, Horse, Poultry, Rabbit, Sheep, and Swine animals, while still projects are the educational activities and artifacts youth have created from learning activities around topics such as cooking, sewing, photography, rocketry, woodworking, and nearly 200 other topics.
Although this year’s Wayne County Fair will be much smaller in scope since it will not include rides, grandstand entertainment, open class livestock, antiques, home economics, and many other long-standing traditions, the Junior Fair component will include more than 2,400 animals and still projects on display, 4-H/FFA club/chapter booths, approximately 20 food vendors, livestock shows, and an in-person livestock auction.
The 2020 Wayne County Junior Fair is open to the public. Everyone attending including youth exhibitors, parents, spectators, volunteers, and food vendors must comply with current COVID protocols such as maintaining social distancing, frequent hand washing, completing a daily health self-check, and wearing masks while indoors. All Junior Fair exhibitors are being issued five wristbands – one for themselves and four for family / friends. If a show arena, barn, or other area becomes too crowded, then only those with wristbands will be permitted to stay and all others will be asked to clear out.
As our fair approaches, we are very grateful for this opportunity to showcase the hard work of our 4-H and FFA youth exhibitors. Our youth will truly be in the spotlight this year, and while we must respect the seriousness of this pandemic and maintain our social distance and other COVID protocols, we welcome you to visit this year’s fair to support our youth and enjoy some of your favorite fair foods.
For more information and a complete schedule of Junior Fair livestock shows and events, please visit the Wayne County Fair website at waynecountyfairohio.com or the Junior Fair section of our OSU Extension website at wayne.osu.edu/jrfair.