The first Montgomery County Fair at the new fairgrounds site opens this week, and officials hope the improved facilities boost this year’s fair and benefit the community year-round.
“There is a more overall excitement this year with the new attractions and vendors,” said Greg Wallace, executive director of the fair. “People will see a big change.”
Construction at the new location at the Arthur O. Fisher Park on Infirmary Road in Jefferson Twp. has made the facilities bigger and better from past events, officials said. The new buildings are level and air conditioned, changes from the previous site in downtown Dayton.
“We have a flat facility now,” said John Yancik, president of the Agricultural Society of Montgomery County. “It is completely ADA friendly.”
The fair committee has also added more than 32 food and commercial vendors this year because of the space at the new facility.
“We used to have a huge challenge for parking at the old location on South Main,” Yancik said. “Now we can equip larger crowds.”
Wallace expects attendance to increase this year because of air-conditioned facilities and parking lots that can hold up to 3,000 cars.
With the increased amount of space at the facilities, the fair committee will look for more vendors and renters for next year. They also hope a mid-summer week will help the event.
“We worked very hard for six or seven years to get the dates of the fair changed (to earlier in the summer),” Yancik said. “We expect increases in everything because we are not fighting with kids returning to school, sports practices, and we are in vacation season.”
Officials expect an increase in livestock and 4-H participation, as well.
“We hope that the 4-H participation will increase over the next few years because we are in a bigger and nicer facility,” Yancik said.
The grand opening of this year’s fair will be different, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and words of acknowledgement to all those who made the new facility possible.
Fairground facilities will be available all year to reserve for personal events, receptions and reunions. The facilities are booked through the rest of 2018, so planners have turned attention to 2019, Wallace said.
This year’s admission rate for the fair was raised from $8 to $10. The price includes all grandstand events and shows. A $20 wristband for all-day rides will be available at the same price as last year.
The Montgomery County Fair starts Monday, after the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10:30 a.m., and runs through Sunday, July 15. Visit www.montcofair.com for a list of events and information about this year’s fair.