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Ohio’s county, independent fairs getting $10M

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(The Center Square) – As fair season gets underway in Ohio, every county and independent fair in the state will share in $10 million of taxpayer funds to spruce up fairgrounds and work on other improvements.

The money comes from the County and Independent Fair Grant Program, established in the state budget last year by the General Assembly. The money can be used for upgrades to grounds, electrical and sanitation systems, machinery and equipment and disability accommodations.

“Investing in Ohio’s county and independent fairs means investing in some of Ohio’s most beloved traditions,” said Gov. Mike DeWine. “These improvements will ensure that our fairgrounds remain safe and accessible for everyone.”

There are 94 county and independent fairs across the state, and all but two received $106,831.54. The two that did not asked for a lower amount.

The planned projects include new grandstands, repairing and replacing dilapidated buildings, building new restrooms, and improving lighting and traffic signage.

“Our local fairs are truly a place of agricultural tradition and celebration,” said Brian Baldridge, director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. “People from communities everywhere come to visit and learn about agriculture because of the quality of programming at our fairs. These dollars will continue to uplift and improve each and every fairground across the state.”

Ohio’s season opened June 8 with the Paulding County Fair and ends Oct. 12 with the Fairfield County Fair.

“Ohio’s county and independent fairs are a longstanding pastime and are deeply embedded in the heart of our communities,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Department of Development. “By funding necessary improvements, we’re ensuring fairgrounds are safe, accessible, and enjoyable for all, allowing families to keep making memories for generations to come.”

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