Delaware County commissioners praise county fair


Delaware County commissioners deemed the just-ended county fair a success at their meeting Monday.

“Last week was a great week for the fair, for Delaware County, and one of the most exciting (Little Brown) Jugs in its 70-year history,” said Commissioner Jeff Benton. “I think it will go a long ways towards building on the momentum we’ve established in working on the fairgrounds, and preserving that race for Delaware County. If we don’t take care of the fairgrounds, we would be at risk of losing the Little Brown Jug, which is Delaware’s day in the sun.”

Earlier this year, the city of Delaware and the county teamed up to work on the fairground’s infrastructure by providing money, labor and equipment to buy and install water lines, work that resumes now that the fair is over. Next March, commissioners may ask voters to approve an issue to collect an additional 3 percent hotel/motel bed tax that would go toward the fairgrounds.

“We’ve made some improvements, but we’ve still got a long ways to go, moving forward with the bed tax,” Benton said.

“A number of people have commented on how much they’ve appreciated what we’ve done,” said Commissioner Gary Merrell. “You can’t find a better investment in what it saves — $10,000-$12,000 a month in water bills — that can be better used in improving the infrastructure out there.”

Benton and Merrell both said they had been to the fair daily, and they praised the Junior Fair exhibitors.

“It’s a great week for the agricultural community in Delaware County,” Benton said.

“A fair’s not a fair without the kids or animals,” Merrell said.

“The whole week was just so beautiful weather-wise,” said Commissioner Barb Lewis. “It was wonderful to see so many people, so much of the community, turning out for the fair. It was just a lot of fun, and it’s on an upward trajectory.”

“If you didn’t get out there, you missed a great opportunity to have fun with your family,” Merrell said.

The Jug purse, which was $677,000 last week, should hit the $1 million mark in a few years, Benton said.

Two judges round up a lamb that got loose during the Showman of Showmen contest at the Delaware County Fair. judges round up a lamb that got loose during the Showman of Showmen contest at the Delaware County Fair.

By Gary Budzak

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Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.

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