DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A more than century and a half chapter is coming to a close here. Monday kicked off the Montgomery County Fair’s final year at its downtown Dayton location.
The Main Avenue location near Miami Valley Hospital has hosted the annual event for more than 160 years. Some visitors on the fair’s first day said they had been coming to the venue for several decades.
Karen Wherry said she attended her first Montgomery County Fair 20 years ago.
Wherry said, “I’ve always kind of supported the fair, especially when my grand kids were born. And then I was a teacher and we used to come in September when they had the free day for handicap students.”
Joanne and Bruce Messier were attending their first Montgomery County Fair Monday and indulging in some Italian meatball sandwiches.
“I love the Italian food and the greasy fries,” Joanne Messier laughed.
Fair organizers said the location’s final year is bittersweet, but they’re looking forward to a new space.
At the opening ceremonies, they unveiled preliminary sketches of the future fairgrounds site. Posters showed 130 acres at Judge Arthur O. Fisher Park dotted with permanent structures and more land area for amenities and more than 1,000 parking spots.
Montgomery County Agricultural Society President John Yancik said, “We’re going to have a lot bigger area, we’re going to have a lot more free parking and we hope that will entice more and more people to come out and have more and more things.”
Yancik announced plans to break ground at the park on August 19th.
Many fairgoers said they’re looking forward to the event expanding.
Joanne Messier said, “I think it’ll be better when it’s bigger, but this is a nice little fair. It really is.”
This year’s fair runs until Saturday, July 15th.
You can find a full list of events here.