Great Darke County Fair breaks ground for new Dog Arena

The Darke County Fair is so well represented throughout the county and this is the continuation of their advancement ... Ohio State Senator Steve Huffman

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Darke County Agricultural Society breaks ground for new 11,000-square-foot Community Education Center/Dog Arena at Darke County Fairgrounds. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

GREENVILLE – The Darke County Agricultural Society held a groundbreaking for the new 11,000-square-foot Community Education Center/Dog Arena at the Darke County Fairgrounds.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Darke County Fair Board President Greg Pearson. “It’s a big day for us, a brick-and-mortar milestone for the county – result of a lot of collaborative effort. We are ready to get this started and get it up for the fair.”

Darke County Agricultural Society Community Education Center/Dog Arena groundbreaking. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

“We are very excited to move forward on this project,” noted Christoph Keller, fair board member and project committee member. “It will be great to have a place where the dogs can call home – for all the junior fair members.”

The new building will be usable year-round, and during the nine days of the Great Darke County Fair. The new structure will be the home of the Dog Department for Jr Fair, Open Show, and Exhibition.

“The Darke County Fair is so well represented throughout the county and this is the continuation of their advancement and more and more opportunities for the kids to have this dog pavilion,” said District 5 Ohio State Senator Steve Huffman. “It’s going to be a wonderful thing.”

Senator Huffman was instrumental in getting financial assistance from the state for the local project.

State Senator Steve Huffman present Darke County Fair Board Treasurer Marla Werner proclamation. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

“It takes about a year, year and a half to get everything and all the ducks in a row through the right department through the Capital bill and things,” Huffman said. “It is one of the most enjoyable parts to get good people that are doing good things and help them the best we can.”

“Congratulations,” said Angie King, District 84 Ohio House of Representatives. “It’s very exciting.”

The building is being erected east of the Spiritual Life Center and Fine Arts Building located where Greenville Farm Power of the Past holds its display during the fair.

“What an outstanding addition to the Darke County Fair,” Greenville Mayor Jeff Whitaker said. “This project has been years in coming and to build a building this size for the people to bring their dogs during the fair and add some bathrooms to the facility is a wonderful addition. Any time you can get more venues in the community it is a wonderful addition.”

Great Darke County Fair board members attend ground breaking. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

Major donors to the project include Cargill, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, and Brown Family Foundation.

“We have a lot of customers that come from Darke County,” said Cargill’s Amanda Matheny. “We’re excited to be a part of this and support our customer base, give back to the community, and help the youth that will someday be our customers and possibly employees.”

“We wanted to help by donating to the dog barn,” Richard “Dick” Brown stated. “Now we are seeing the results this year.”