AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – On Thursday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said he expects county fairs to happen this season but with limits to ensure public safety.
Last year was a difficult time for most vendors who serve fairs and festivals. Some, like Molnar’s Concessions, were able to hang on by setting up pop-up locations.
“It was a wash. We didn’t have the travel expense we normally do when we go to different county fairs. We didn’t have that expense, so it kind of balanced out. We’re still going to have a stand on the corner because we always had that before COVID, and it just was a blessing in disguise,” said Faith McGee, co-owner of Molnar’s Concessions.
Canfield Fair board member George Roman thinks the public is ready for a full fair season.
“I think the general public is anxious to get out and if we can produce the full fair, I’m hoping that they’ll all want to come out and enjoy it,” he said.
But Gov. DeWine wants fairs to encourage social distancing and mask wearing, he even put an attendance limit on the fair grandstands.
Roman is ready for the crowds to return but worries that this limit could impact the overall fair business.
“It will impact us very much because that’s a big draw to our fair, and with a 30% capacity, makes it impossible at that time to be able to produce a show,” he said.
Even though the governor has yet to weigh in on smaller festivals and other gatherings, McGee is excited at the prospect of a more normal summer this year.
“Please come out and see us, we’re waiting for you. We’ll be waiting to wait on you,” she said.