An Extra Special Day at the Fair

By Adam Black

The Ashland Beacon

Squeals of happiness rang through the Boyd County Fairgrounds, as riders dashed from one ride to another during Special Need’s Day event.

The fair has hosted the event for the past four years. It invites children and adults with special needs to come get the full fair experience without the overwhelming crowds and sensory overload.

“This idea, we picked it up at the fair convention, and it was something we wanted to get involved in,” said Fair Director, Ellen Keaton. “We invite all the special needs adult day cares and we have about 120 to 150 guests.”

During the special needs time, rides at the fair don’t go as high, as fast or for as long as they would typically go. The guests also get the opportunity to enjoy one of the fair’s on-site shows and enjoy a lunch at the event, all free of charge.

“To see their faces while riding the rides and enjoying the fair, its priceless,” Keaton said.

Around 150 guests attended the event including Active Day of Summit who brought members eager to ride rides.

“They look forward to this all year,” Brenda Woods said. “They get so excited leading up to the day, talking about what rides they are going to ride.”

Members of Active Day raced from one ride to the other, hopping on a variety of rides and laughing with friends.

“I went on the scrambler. I thought the ride was awesome,” Andrew Marsh said. “I like watching the rides. They all look fun.”

Woods said that she appreciates how the fair puts on a special event and hopes the event will continue.

“We have been to other fairs, but this is the only one that has an organized event like this,” Woods said. “It is really just a joy to see them all having fun.”

While the event Thursday morning was just for people with special needs, the fair will be open Thursday night for the general public with more fair fun, including a horse show, carnival rides and gospel night featuring Michael Combs.