GALLIPOLIS — The Gallia County Junior Fair kicked off Monday at 8 a.m.
“The version of the Gallia County Junior Fair that we know now was revitalized in 1950,” said Tim Massie, 59, Gallia County Junior Fair Board secretary. “It was once held in various locations in town. I believe it was held at an implement dealer and the old airport. In 1956, the Evans Grocery Co. donated land and then we held the first fair on this site that same year.”
Massie estimated nearly 40,000 people would visit the fair over its six-day period, including week-long comers and individuals only visiting for the day. He reasoned there would be between 750 to 800 fair competition participants. He felt roughly 200 4-H, scout and FFA advisers would be present as well.
Massie also estimated there would be potentially 40 steers, 90 lambs, over 300 market hogs, 20 market goats and at least three dozen beef breeding animals present for fair activities.
“My part in the fair started back in my youth. I came to the fair as a really young person. I enrolled in 4-H at age nine. I’ve been involved as a 4-H member and as an FFA member,” Massie said. “I was an FFA adviser for 13 years.”
Massie said he worked at the “summer extension office” for four summers and had been on the fair board for 35 years.
“We always want to have a successful fair. All of what we do around here is for our youth and our future,” Massie said. “We try to provide these opportunities for our youth to learn and achieve and succeed. It’s part of the growing up process. Hopefully some of these kids will want to be involved with the fair somewhere down the road and take it into the future.”
Massie stressed the he could not “ask the public enough to support the fair relocation” attempts.
“Three weeks ago tonight (said Aug. 3), if you would have been sitting out in the fairgrounds in front of our stage like many people will do tonight, you probably would have had water up to the arms of your chair,” Massie said about the recent high damaging floods to Gallia County. “It was the worst flooding that many of us had seen in our time.”
Massie said a sales tax levy was slated for the coming Nov. 3 election. If voters approve the levy, the tax would apply to non-food items and services. A quarter of one percent sales tax increase, according to past Gallia County Commission meetings, would bring in roughly $900,000 a year. This would mean an individual would pay a penny per four dollar expenditure or 25 cents per $100 for the tax on a sale. The tax is meant to aid in fairground relocation efforts.
Massie said with bonds used for the fair relocation, taxpayers would potentially pay the quarter of a one percent increase over a 20 year period. The relocation effort aims to pay the debt off sooner. The longest projected tax period would be over the next 20 years but could be potentially paid off sooner. According to Massie, once the fair relocation completed, the tax increase would go away.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.