Ashtabula County Fair will consist of only animal shows and livestock sale

This year's Ashtabula County Fair only will feature animal shows and the livestock auction because of the coronavirus pandemic. Pictured here: Avery March of Plymouth Township showing his 1,400 pound steer during the 2014 Market Animal Show. He won the grand champion and best of show awards.

JEFFERSON — The 2020 Ashtabula County Fair will look a lot different this summer because it’s slated for only three days — Aug. 13-15 — and it will consist of only animal shows and a livestock sale.

Fair Board President Brian Edelman said Wednesday there will be no entertainment, no music, no vendors, no fair food, no exhibits and no grandstand events because of restrictions set by Gov. Mike DeWine during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“No public will be allowed at the animal shows, only junior fair members and their immediate families,” he said. “The public will be allowed in the grandstand for the livestock auction on Aug. 15.

Harness racing is scheduled for Aug. 13-14, but the public will not be allowed to watch and there will be no betting, said Sue Stockwell, Fair Board member.

Edelman said even though the board had to cancel everything else this year, they still want to give the 4-H’ers and Future Farmers of America, who have put in so much time and effort in their projects, the opportunity to show.

“We want the kids to be able to show their animals,” he said. 

Hundreds of children in Ashtabula County raise animals such as goats, sheep, pigs, rabbits, steers, dairy cows, chickens and turkeys to sell at the fair. They put a lot of time in taking care of them and the Fair Board didn’t want to disappoint them, Edelman said.

“We’re doing the best we can, given the circumstances,” he said.

For folks who are going to miss all the other fun the fair offers, Edelman said the board is working on the possibility of having a drive-through fair food and craft show the week before the fair.

“We would like to have all the food vendors lined up along the midway and people can order from their cars and eat in their cars or take it home,” he said. “We hope to have a craft show, too.”

Edelman said board members hope to have it all worked out by the end of this week.


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