State mandate on county fairs will not impact Summit County’s event

Governor announces county fairs opening July 31 and after will be limited to Junior Fair activities

Maintenance crews work on getting the Summit County Fair ready to open tomorrow. The governor's mandate requiring fairs opening July 31 and on to only conduct Junior Fair events will not impact the Summit County Fair.

TALLMADGE – The governor’s announcement Tuesday limiting county fairs to Junior Fair events only will not impact the Summit County Fair, which opens Wednesday.

Gov. Mike DeWine announced that the state will order all county fairs opening July 31 and after to limit activities to events such as animal judging, photography and the other youth events, but that grandstand events, games, and carnival rides will not be allowed, and there would be a curfew of 10 p.m.

However, since the Summit County Fair opens July 29, the events planned at that fair will go on as planned, according to Summit County Public Health spokeswoman Marlene Martin.

“Since the Summit County Fair is to start tomorrow July 29 through Aug. 2, Summit County Fair Board will be preceding with the fair utilizing the safety precautions that were already established in their plan reviewed by Summit County Public Health,” Martin said.

Summit County’s fair proceeding as planned was both confirmed by a representative from the governor’s office and by Cathy Cunningham, the Summit County Fair manager.

In Tuesday’s press conference, DeWine said that while some fairs were doing a good job with social distancing and mask mandates, but some others were not. Outbreaks of the novel coronavirus have been reported at some fairs. He said there have been photos taken that shows that some fairs “were clearly not enforcing any mask order at all. That’s a real shame.”

“It’s becoming increasingly clear we cannot have a regular, safe fair in the COVID summer of 2020,” DeWine said. “So we are making the order that will take all fairs going forward to junior fairs.”

There have been several changes made due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but this year’s Summit County Fair will still have rides, games and some grandstand events.

This year’s fair is scheduled for July 29 through Aug. 2, which is one day shorter than typical. Online tickets sales, as well as schedules, are available and encouraged at the Summit County Fair website,

Reporter April Helms can be reached at