Fair events, displays honor veterans


The Delaware County Fair is Sept. 17-24 this year. The Coliseum this year is exclusively occupied by veteran groups and military displays. Everyone would be encouraged to visit the Coliseum. Anyone at any age will receive some historic education.

Veterans displays and events have grown and become traditions over the years. At the fair, Veterans Day was the same day as Senior Day. At the time, seniors’ admission was discounted; veterans’ admission was not. Eventually, veterans were admitted on the fair’s Veterans Day at no cost. After the fair was expanded to eight days, Veterans Day was moved to Friday of the fair. Later, it was renamed to Veterans – Military Service Day.

The Operation: Forever Grateful (OFG) veterans fair dinner was established in 2012. That is the first veteran event established at the fair. It was the start of events and displays for veterans and active military service members. OFG is honored and looked forward to from many people: veterans, active duty military and volunteers. It has evolved and grown well over the years.

In 2013, the first military display was set up as one of several booths in the fair’s Coliseum. Over time, the displays grew and multiple military display exhibitors participated. After a couple years, veterans groups and organizations were allowed to set up booths in the Coliseum annex. Eventually, they were moved into the main Coliseum area to be with the military displays.

The military displays contain many different items. Displays cover items from the Civil War and all the way up to current. Many uniforms from all military branches are on display. There are also uniforms from foreign wars the United States was involved in. Also, many photos, equipment, posters along with other items are on display.

Along with those there are bigger items also on display. Listed are some of the items we should have on display: Civil War cannon, World War II British motorcycle, military jeeps, military staff car, Humvee (hopefully), and other military vehicles.

There will be a display of barrels representing herbicides used in Vietnam. There are six major herbicides that are called The Rainbow Herbicides of the Vietnam War era. An informational brochure is available with the display. Copies may be taken.

Veterans organizations will have booths set up for information and support. Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1095 will have a booth with information about us and the Vietnam War. We will also have a booth with pictures and information on Delaware County veterans memorials, battlefield crosses from three war eras, American flag, POW/MIA flag, military service flags, banner naming Delaware County Vietnam KIAs, and playing patriotic and military music.

Other veterans organizations will share a booth with their information. Here is a list of who should be represented: AmVets, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Military Order of Purple Heart (MOPH) and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).

Delaware County Veterans Services will have a booth. They will not only have items to hand out, but they will also be staffed to assist veterans and answer questions. There are many items and events they support. You may also just have conversations with them, like all the other groups.

Representatives from the VA, located at Chalmers P. Wylie in Columbus, will have a booth. A lot of their information will be provided about Veterans Services and Chalmers P. Wylie Outpatient Clinic.

Vet Center will also have a booth. Vet Center works with many veterans that have injury and mental issues. They are not part of but work with Veterans Services. Their mobile unit will also be here on Sept. 23, which is Delaware County Fair’s Veterans Day, to assist veterans.

Stockhands Horses for Healing will also have a booth. Besides having many types of training and support, they have specific sessions and events for veterans and first responders. Besides their booth, they will have a section set up with a couple of miniature horses. The miniature horses will be there every day.

Along with veterans groups, there will also be active military groups. The military groups have recruiters that also provide information on their military branches. Groups that intend to participate and provide items are U.S. Army, Army Reserve, Army National Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Space Force.

On Jug Day there is also a special event for veterans and active duty military. A few years ago, it was decided to allow a trip around the track with veterans and active duty military in military vehicles. This is a wonderful event that gives plenty of pride, support and respect for them.

Besides the veterans and military displays and events, there are many things to see and do at the fair. With the Junior Fair, there are many still project displays, judging, and events in the Junior Fair section of the new building. This includes, but not limited to, many different animal and livestock events: rabbits, poultry, pigs, lambs, beef cattle, dairy cows, several types of goats, dog shows, small animals, and horse competitions on a daily basis. Hopefully, I didn’t miss listing anything. Open show displays are in the Arts & Crafts building. These include photography, art, quilts, flowers, crafts, baked goods, produce, and other items.

The Merchants Building contains various vendors and promotional groups. Some of them sell products, while others promote various items. In the midway are carnival rides, food vendors and other product vendors.

There is harness racing, motor sports, various entertainments, lots of bands, public competition (entertaining events), and educational events on a daily basis. Many things that you can see, do and enjoy every day at the fair. Come on in. You won’t have to see and do everything in one day, enjoy the week.


By Harold B. Wolford

Veterans Corner

Harold B. Wolford is president of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1095. He served in the United States Army from 1970 to 1973.

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