The number of rides at this year’s Highland County Fair has been limited because of a shortage of available attractions and a company that decided late to go somewhere other than Hillsboro.
“We have rides at the fair – different than maybe some people’s expectations,” said Highland County Fair Board President Mark Baldwin. “It’s not King’s Island.”
Baldwin said that the fair board had a contract for rides with Premier Solutions that another company had been covering for them.
“We had a contract, and there’s a shortage and someone backed out, but we have rides and everything we need for the people to enjoy the fair,” he said.
Part of the shortage is due to Tyler’s Law in Ohio that strengthened Ohio’s existing laws on amusement rides by adding safety inspection standards, defining qualifications for ride inspectors, and outlining additional owner responsibilities. The law, named after Tyler Jarrell, who died at the 2017 Ohio State Fair after being thrown from an amusement ride, was signed by Gov. Mike DeWine in 2019 and went into effect on April 1, 2020.
“There are places they can make more money than here,” said Baldwin. “It all boils down to money, and they can make more money in Cincinnati or Columbus or Cleveland.”
General admission tickets to the Highland County Fair are $10 per person, with rides included.Admission is free for children 3 and under.
“We pay them, but it’s where you can go to make more money, so they can drop you because there’s a shortage of rides,” said Baldwin. “There’s more places for rides to be than there is companies that do rides.”
He said the county fair still has a lot to offer. “It’s been warm, and it’s supposed to cool off, and we’re ecstatic that people come out and enjoy the fair,” he said.
Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.