BY ED GEBERT
DHI Media Editor
VAN WERT — A few traditions are being adjusted a little for the 158th edition of the Van Wert County Fair which officially opens on Wednesday. There are new events, new building, and some new days and times for favorite events in the 2014 event. But changes are nothing new at the fair. The first fair was 1855, and the only event that has pre-empted the fair is the American Civil War. That is a lot of history.
The first fair was a one-day affair held at the former location of Dull Lumber. The fair was held over two days, two years later, and by 1871, the event lasted three days. The length of the fair has fluctuated many times since then.
This year’s fair will run through Monday, September 1, followed by the annual livestock auction Tuesday morning at the Farm Focus arena. The most obvious change for 2014 is the replacement of the Rabbit Barn. The old structure, which had been the oldest structure on the grounds, was taken down, and a new version has taken its place. Also removed was the Gospel Pavilion which was damaged by high winds this winter. A large tent covers this area now and will serve as the Gospel Tent this year before a new venue is built for 2015.