Don’t expect any radical changes to this year’s version of the Delaware County Fair, which runs from Sept. 17 through Sept. 24.
“We’re starting to get bed tax money in,” said Sandy Kuhn, the fair’s new general manager, “but very limited money has come in, so there will be signage letting them know what will be done so far, as well as next year.”
Kuhn said there will be at least one new building in place in 2017.
However, there will be a number of cosmetic differences this year, such as the painted shrubbery by the Little Brown Jug area will be replaced with real foliage.
“Maybe no one’s been aware they’ve been painted for numerous years — we had dead ones,” Kuhn said, laughing. “So we finally found big enough shrubs to do replacements.”
In addition, excess dirt from the Pennsylvania Ave./Route 23 project is being moved over to the motorsports track to provide higher hills and more blanket/lawn chair seating for fans.
Sandblasting had made the west side of the grandstand considerably whiter than the east, Kuhn said. There will also be more televisions under the grandstand for people to be able to watch, too.
Students from the Delaware Area Career Center will update the landscaping at the Jug Barn, she said.
For exhibitors, one noticeable change is that there is now a permanent barn for llamas and alpacas. Kuhn said a modified Barn 16 will be their new home, instead of the temporary tent they had been staying in.
“We had a barn that was not being used, and they knocked out some walls to give them more air flow.”
One thing the fair is trying this year is having school groups earn money by parking cars. “We’ve got Buckeye Valley student council coming in, and we’re hoping that’s something that will grow in the future. The Kiwanis and the Rotary already do a gate.”
This year’s musical entertainment will include the Wolfe Brothers (Sept. 17), who Kuhn called Australia’s number one country band; and local favorite Phil Dirt & the Dozers (Sept. 24).
“We’re ending on the 24th with fireworks, and OhioHealth is sponsoring that,” she said.
Another difference this year is that the Little Brown Jug will not be televised like it had been the past two years.
“The sponsors didn’t re-up,” Kuhn said.
The hope, as always, is that the weather will cooperate and allow more folks to visit.
“I’ve asked for 70 to 75 (degrees) and sunny skies,” Kuhn said. “We’ll see how much pull I have with Mother Nature.”
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.