Montgomery County Fair kicks off at first new home in 166 years

The Montgomery County Fair kicked off at a new location on Monday, marking the first time it has been at a different site in its 166-year history.

While the old fairgrounds near downtown Dayton had history, including visits from presidents and the Wright Brothers, the new fairgrounds in Jefferson Twp. offers room for the fair to expand.

“We know this is a place for new traditions, and we hope those traditions continue for many years,” John Yancik, the president of the Montgomery County Agricultural Society, said at the fair’s opening ceremony on Monday morning.

New barns, fresh pavement and a large flat landscape were the results of a $15 million investment and 10 months of construction on Infirmary Road west of Dayton.

A boost for Jefferson Twp.

Michael McLaughlin, a Jefferson Twp. administrator, said the development is the best thing to happen to the rural township since he began living there in 1985. McLaughlin said the space can be used for more than just the fair, and would help the township grow.

“We’re a diamond in the rough,” McLaughlin said.

The new fairgrounds mark the first major construction project in the township in more than 30 years, Jefferson Twp. Trustees President Jim McGuire said. McGuire said he hoped the new space will help to fill the void in the area created with the loss of Hara arena in nearby Trotwood.

McLaughlin said he noticed an increased police presence in the area to make sure that parking went smoothly, and said he planned to bring his family and enjoy the fair.

The fair offers a chance for agricultural and urban aspects of Montgomery County to come together, and to show off the hard work of farmers and children who raise animals, officials said.

“County and independent fairs are the best things agriculture has going for it,” Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David Daniels said at the opening ceremony.

‘It’s a blast at the fair’

Fair attendees were enjoying the new space Monday. Ivy, Isaiah and Eden Alsept, three Miamisburg siblings all in their third year of 4-H competitions, said the new space was an improvement over the old location.

“It’s a lot bigger,” Ivy, who was showing meat pen rabbits and chickens, said. “We have a lot more space. We actually have a whole barn to ourselves.”

In addition to the extra space, the buildings also had better airflow to keep people and animals cool, Isaiah said.

The Alsepts’ favorite parts of the fair remain despite the change in location. Ivy likes meeting new people and Isaiah likes showing the animals. Eden said she likes both aspects.

“You work so hard all year, and it’s a blast at the fair,” Eden said.

The Montgomery Fair runs until Sunday, July 15 at the new location, 645 Infirmary Road. Admission is $10 per person and parking is free, although rides are a separate cost.

About the Author