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Governor DeWine Announces $10 Million to Support Fair Projects Including Pickaway and Ross Counties


COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, Ohio Department of Development Director Lydia Mihalik, and Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Brian Baldridge announced today a $10 million grant initiative to enhance fairgrounds across Ohio, including significant projects in Pickaway and Ross Counties. This funding aims to improve the experience for fairgoers and ensure the longevity of local fairs.

The grants, part of Ohio’s County and Independent Fair Grant Program, are designed to support county and independent agricultural societies with essential upgrades. Projects include improvements to grounds, electrical and sanitation systems, machinery and equipment, and ADA accommodations.

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

Pickaway County Agricultural Society will recieve $106,831.54, Ross County Agricultural Society $106,831.54, and Pike County Agricultural Society $106,831.54

Lt. Governor Husted emphasized the importance of modernization, stating, “Innovation is prevalent across all of agriculture, and we need to make sure this is reflected in our county and independent fairs. We are investing in what is the heart of many of our rural communities and making vital improvements that will improve the fair experience all across Ohio.”

The funding will support various projects, including new grandstands, repairs or replacements of dilapidated buildings, improved restroom facilities, enhanced parking and camping sites, and ADA accessibility improvements like ramp additions and improved pathways. Electrical upgrades, lighting improvements, and additional directional and traffic signage are also part of the funded projects.

All 94 county and independent fairs applied for and received funding, with each eligible fair receiving up to $106,831.54. This initiative was supported by the 135th Ohio General Assembly through House Bill 33 and is administered by the Ohio Department of Development.

“Ohio’s county and independent fairs are a longstanding pastime and are deeply embedded in the heart of our communities,” said Lydia Mihalik. “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.”

Brian Baldridge highlighted the cultural significance of local fairs, stating, “Our local fairs are truly a place of agricultural tradition and celebration. 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 fair season officially kicked off on June 8 with the Paulding County Fair and will conclude on October 12 with the Fairfield County Fair. A complete list of Ohio’s fairs is available on the Department of Agriculture’s website.