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167th Putnam County Fair kicks off

Fairgoers and animals will have plenty of options to stay cool and celebrate summer during the heat.

OTTAWA, Ohio — Though it's technically the last day of spring, Putnam County kicked off the summer season a little early Monday.

The village of Ottawa is going to be busier than usual this week, as it's hosting the 167th Putnam County Fair.

This year has a full slate of events, vendors, rides and animal showings.

Organizers have been planning since November and were happy to not have to work around or adapt to any last-minute pandemic protocols. 

"Before we were kind of out of routine. We didn't know what to do and we had all of these things we worried about. Now it's more back to business as normal," Kevin Wilson, Putnam County Agriculture Society secretary, said.

Obviously, their main goal is to make sure everything with the fair runs smoothly and everyone can get in and out safely. But for these first two days, another issue will be making sure fairgoers stay cool.

EMTs will be on hand every day until 10 p.m. to help anyone impacted by the heat.

RELATED: Summer heat back Monday with high of 90, ALERT DAY for Tuesday high near 100 | WTOL 11 Weather

The fair has misting units for crowds and will have the local fire department spray down the roofs of the animal barns throughout the day to help keep them cool.

"We have our first aid station which is air-conditioned, along with the sheriff's department here is also air-conditioned. They're more than welcome to stop in and sit down and just cool down for a little bit," Brian Hilvers, Putnam County EMA/EMS director, said.

Credit: Jon Monk
Junior Fair exhibitors showing goats at the 2022 Putnam County Fair

Keeping cool isn't just a job for the people at the fair; it's one for the animals too.

Vincent Peck is showing pigs for the second year and says for the first time they are now allowed to bring their water sprayers to judging to keep the animals cool.

"Usually we need to be with them more," Peck said. "So you sit there and spray them down for a few minutes and then wait half an hour then come back."

"They work hard with their animals, they do a lot, it's very educational and it's great because this is kind of their test time," Wilson said. "They can show what they've learned, they can show their animals and it's very exciting for them to come together. It's almost like a reunion, coming back together and sharing what they've done with the other kids around."

The 167th Putnam County Fair runs through Saturday, June 25.

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