By Steven Coburn-Griffis

OTTAWA — Monday dawned in a typical fashion for the first day of the Putnam County Fair. The skies were overcast with thin, gray clouds, and the occasional drop of rain fell. But, as is atypical, no storms coalesced, and the hint of rain remained just that: a potential.

Still, weather was the watchword as various individuals of note made their way to the podium during the fair’s Opening Ceremony, which began at 10 a.m.

“Looking at the forecast before I stepped up here, I think this will be the first year in my memory that it’s not going to rain three or four inches one day during the Putnam County Fair,” State Senator Rob McColley told those present.

U.S. Representative Bob Latta, sharing the reminiscences of his mother, remarked the fair, once held in October, occasionally experienced snow flurries. “But that’s not anything we’re expecting this week,” Latta quipped, referencing heat warnings issued for the county.

And those forecasts, at least on Tuesday, bore out. By mid-afternoon, Ottawa was registering 99 degrees, with a heat advisory of over 100 degrees. On Wednesday, temperatures are anticipated to fall slightly, with highs in the mid-90s.

In the livestock barns on Tuesday, fans ran throughout the day, and fair personnel sprayed down the barns, and the animals they housed, with water in

an effort to beat the heat as Junior Fair competitions ran on.

And that, too, was a focus for speakers: the hard work of the county’s youth in raising and showing their animals.

“It’s great to be here at the Putnam County Fair,” McColley asserted. “It’s always a reminder of our shared agricultural heritage here in Northwest Ohio, and how we celebrate that every year through recognizing primarily our youth, and what they’re doing to further that heritage through their own agricultural exhibits.”