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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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If you have an opinion on what you like about the Ottawa County Fair or what events and activities you’d like to see at the fair, the DECA chapter at Oak Harbor High School is offering an opportunity to express your views.

The chapter is conducting a 10-question marketing research survey for fair organizers. The survey can be viewed at the surveymonkey.com website.

It asks respondents how many times they have attended the fair in the past 10 years and what were their reasons for not attending.

The fair is held in mid-July.

Respondents can also rate their satisfaction level of activities ranging from the demolition derby, harness racing, livestock sales and 4-H events, to rides, carnival games, concerts, talent shows and more.

The survey also asks for opinions on how likely respondents would attend events such as athletic contests, local music performances, academic challenges, a parade, and others.

Respondents aren’t asked for their names but the survey does ask for age, gender, household income level and zip code information.

Rollin Hetrick, president of the Ottawa County Fair Board, said the board welcomes any public input into the fair’s planning process. He said he took the survey via an email sent to him by the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce.

“We’re trying to improve our public image of the fair,” he said. “We have most of the plans in place for this year’s fair but we’re trying to find out what we need to do to increase our attendance. We welcome DECA’s participation and we hope they participate in the fair also.”

The DECA chapter approached the board with the idea of conducting the survey, Hetrick said, adding board members had already discussed contacting school districts to see if there is interest in having school bands and orchestras participate more in fair events.

Poor weather in 2010 and 2011 hurt attendance. Since last year’s fair, however, the fair board has been able to eliminate much of its debt, save for a long-term loan from the Ottawa County commissioners for the construction of the building that houses offices for the junior and senior fair boards.

“We’ve been cutting corners and have a financial committee set up with community members to advise us. The system seems to be working,” Hetrick said.

The board is scheduled to meet March 11 to discuss ideas for making the fair more affordable for families.

The 2014 fair is scheduled for July 14-20.