For as long as anyone can remember the fairgrounds have flooded often and severely; some years to the point that the fair couldn't be held there. Growing up in Holmes County means that there is a very high likely hood that you participate in the fair in one way or another, whether it be though something like FFA and 4-H or just going to enjoy the food and rides, and for anyone in that situation, it means you experience the true reality of flooding, which is why the community is in desperate need of a change. Change was initiated with the April, 2012 groundbreaking ceremony, held at the new fairground location at Harvest Ridge.
|Flooding at fairgrounds|
Harvest Ridge was an 80 plus acre gift from Weaver Leather chairman Paul Weaver; in exchange for the gift, the fair board agreed to run utilities to the property. Since groundbreaking, one building has been completed, the William T. Baker Building; and an original 1910 bank barn has been restored, as well as massive excavation. The county sold the old fairgrounds to the local park district for approximately $500,000 from a Clean Ohio grant which requires the fairgrounds to be moved by September of 2014.
The overall project is estimated to cost between 10 and 12 million, but it should take about $5 million to get the grounds prepared enough to hold a decent fair. Current efforts include getting the grounds properly excavated, installing plumbing, and parking. Fund raising is still a very high priority and higher level donors will have buildings, utilities, or even streets named in their honor. The fair board is working at turning the new fairgrounds into something the entire community can utilize. For information on how to donate contact Tom Wilke at 330-763-2954.
The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast is located about 3 1/2 miles from the present fairground location. Combine a visit the Holmes County Fair August 4 - Monday, August 11, 2013 and a stay at the award-winning Barn Inn. An affiliated property of The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, Apple Hill Retreat, is located within 1/4 mile of Harvest Ridge and provides a convenient vacation stay for visitors to Holmes County.
Submitted by: Loretta Coblentz
July 3, 2013