XENIA — Sitting inside a pen near her three goats, Jadyn Myers could feel the difference.
“Weird,” the Greeneview High School junior said Monday as animals were arriving at the very modified Greene County Fair.
Vendors are nowhere to be found. There are a few food options. And there’s nothing but empty grass and concrete where the midway usually shines bright at night. Lines are painted on the ground helping attendees keep social distance and signs remind everyone not to touch railings and animals, and for people to keep “two pigs” or “six chickens” apart.
Welcome to a county fair in the coronavirus era.
“It’s not the same,” said Myers, a member of the Ross Champs 4-H Club. “I wish it was.”
Despite the changes, Myers, 16, isn’t going to complain too much about the restrictions. At least there is a fair.
“It’s still worth the fun,” she said. “It’s still a little sad. We don’t have the other fun stuff too.”
Although the days leading up to the final announcement that there would in fact be a junior fair weren’t that fun for her.
“Very on edge about everything,” Myers said. “Stressful.”
Elizabeth Manley, a fifth grader in Jamestown, is in her second year at the fair. She showed rabbits last year, and is showing market chickens this year. As she waited for her poultry to be weighed, the member of Barnyard Kids 4-H Club sensed how quiet things were.
“Last year when we visited the barns, the cages would be stacked up,” she said. “This year there’s hardly any.”
The 10-year-old said she will miss the rides and was disappointed when the change to just a junior fair was announced.
“I was kind of mad and sad,” Manley said.
One thing that hasn’t changed is support from local law enforcement.
Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer was riding around the fairgrounds and predicted an excellent week, rides or no rides.
“We’re going to have a good time regardless,” he said while munching on a mouth-watering burger. “The atmosphere is obviously not here. Still the longest continuous running fair west of the Alleghenies. We’ve been through a lot this year.”
The fair officially opens at 8 a.m. Tuesday.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.