Rodeo, circus new attractions at Warren County Fair

Along with traditional fair food, rides, animals and events, including the popular Tractor Pull and Demolition Derby, the Warren County Fair will offer a new twist on an old tradition.

“This year there will be a rodeo on Wednesday evening in front of the Grandstand,” said Tari Maddox, fair secretary. “There’s also going to be a circus preforming two or three times a day. They’ll have a big tent set out just like a regular circus.”

The fair runs July 16-20. In celebration of its history, this year’s theme, “Fair Runs Deep,” will be visible throughout parade floats and other activities, according to Maddox. Visitors will see farm animals, artwork and more in addition to shows and rides.

“The goal of the fair is to promote agriculture education,” Tari Maddox, fair secretary said. “Families and kids can learn things like the difference between a dairy and a beef cow. They’ll also see 4-H kids hard at work getting ready for shows.”

A variety of food vendors will be scattered around the fair, providing visitors with many refreshment options. There will also be shopping opportunities from more than 80 merchant booths located near the Grandstand.

While county fairs offer plenty of entertainment and fun, state officials are urging people to wash hands and take other hygiene precautions during their visits this summer.

Several county fairs in Ohio and Indiana were linked to swine flu cases last year, with at least 11 Ohioans hospitalized after contracting the virus.

“People can get the flu from swine just like you can from humans,” said Tessie Pollock, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Health.

The Ohio Departments of Health and Agriculture say they have worked with fairs, youth organizations and veterinarians to increase hand-sanitizing and washing stations at the events. They say older adults, pregnant women, young children and people with weakened immune systems can be vulnerable.

Health officials also advise leaving strollers outside animal exhibits, and suggest that those considered vulnerable stay out of animal areas.

Ohio’s health department director cautioned that some illnesses, such as the flu virus, are commonly carried by livestock and can be directly transmitted between animals and humans in the same way those illnesses are often transmitted between people.

Experts said that through the simple practice of hand washing, the chance of attaining influenza, salmonella, E. Coli, and many other infections lowers significantly.

“By taking some common-sense precautions, we can ensure that visiting your local agricultural fair remains a fun, safe, and wholesome educational activity for your family,” ODA Director David T. Daniels said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.