Licking County News

Pataskala Street Fair 'tradition' continues Aug. 13-16

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The 68th annual Pataskala Street Fair scheduled Aug. 13-16 is all about tradition, according to Mayor Mike Compton.

"I'm big on tradition," Compton said. "It's part of the tradition that we have it on the street.

"Every little town has something special. We have the (Pataskala Antique) Power Show and the street fair. That's what makes us special and unique."

Several blocks of Main Street -- state Route 310 -- will close Aug. 12 for fair setup.

Compton said he anticipates the road will reopen at 5 a.m. Aug. 17.

He said some residents have requested the street fair be moved to a local park to avoid the road closure. However, he said, the fair needs to remain on the street for tradition's sake.

Deputy Chief Michael Boals of the Pataskala Division of Police said motorists should follow posted detours around the closed street.

No-parking zones will be marked and fairgoers should be careful when parking on streets so they do not block driveways or alleys, possibly resulting in their vehicles being towed, Boals said.

To avoid potential thefts, Boals said, fairgoers should not leave valuables visible in parked cars.

The street fair will open at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 13, with entertainment and bands performing until 10 p.m.

The street fair also will conclude at 10 p.m. Aug. 14 and at 11 p.m. Aug. 15 and 16, said organizer Ron Tague.

"Everything you typically expect at a fair, we'll have there," Tague said.

A list of scheduled street fair activities, entertainment and events is available online at pataskalastreetfair.org.

The fair is organized by the West Licking Firefighters Association in support of the West Licking Joint Fire District.

Tague, who has been an association member since 1973 and is a former volunteer firefighter, said the association has two support vehicles that provide water, snacks and a restroom for firefighters working long hours at an emergency scene.

Funds from last year's street fair and $5,000 in grants paid for a trailer equipped with a toilet. Tague said the trailer is crucial for support as more women enter the fire service.

In addition, the association plans to use future funding to purchase an inflatable tent that can be heated for winter rescue operations and cooled for summer rescue operations.

Tague said the fair usually generates $1,500 to $3,000 for the association.

The association also is bringing back to the street fair two fundraisers that Tague said were suspended in 2008 because of questions about the legality of gambling.

The fundraisers are "firehouse poker" and a dice game that allowed players to put money on a color and win prizes depending on what color comes up on the dice.

Compton said he checked with the Ohio Attorney General's Office and there are no legal issues with the games.

Because the association uses the funds to purchase equipment for the fire district and no one profits from the games, Compton said, they are legal activities.

However, he said, the city does have to ensure that no one younger than 18 is involved in the games.

In conjunction with the street fair, the Mead-Needham Museum at 300 S. Main St. will be open from 4 to 8 p.m. Aug. 13-16.

The museum's regular hours are 4 to 7 p.m. Fridays during the Pataskala Farmers Market and 2 to 4 p.m. Sundays through December.

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