Trade Days given the go as farmers market


A photo of a past day at Lucasville Trade Days.

LUCASVILLE — Lucasville Trade Days has been stirring up conflict and discussions after the popular event posted it will take place this even with the COVID-19 pandemic.

After several events including, the Fourth of July, the Scioto County Fair and Labor Day festivities were all canceled due to COVID-19. Many are questioning the reasoning behind why Lucasville Trade Days is allowed to proceed this year. Recently, Lucasville Trade Days posted an announcement on their social media pages announcing that it would go on this year.

“NEWS BREAK! We now have permission from the Scioto County Health Dept. Lucasville Trade Days is ON for Sept. 25, 26, and 27, 2020. Please share this news and spread the word to everyone you know who loves this event,” event organizers posted online.

The announcement spread quickly and comments, both pro and con, were posted. After several days of questions from Scioto County residents, The Scioto County Health Department posted Friday, Sept. 11 that due to an obtained license, Trade Days could proceed.

“The Scioto County Health Department would like to make a clarification regarding Trade Days. Trade Days is allowed to operate due to being licensed as a farmers market (license No. 730097),” The health department posted.

Dr. Michael Martin, Scioto County Health Department Commissioner, spoke with the Portsmouth Daily Times to clarify how Trade Days was allowed to happen during the pandemic.

“They have told us that they are a farmers market,” Martin said. “They were a farmers market before in 2019, but then they let their license expire and they didn’t have any trade days in June because they were not a farmers market. Because they’re license and registration is now a farmers market and comes through the State of Ohio Agricultural Department, it is not us. We did not give them this registration.”

Martin shared Trade Day organizers said they are going to follow guidelines and if they follow those guidelines, they can be open as a farmers market.

“If they open as a farmers market they can only have, Ohio Revised Code 3717.221, fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables, product of cottage foods operations such as tree syrup, honey and things like that, plus wine,” Martin said. “If they would have something other than that, we would have to call the State of Ohio and let them know they are doing other things besides the farmers market. We have given them information on responsible restart Ohio and how employees, customers, and guests are supposed to maintain all those distances.”

Following the release, several comments were posted to the SCHD’s page that Dr. Martin clarified in his statement. One resident replied with the statement, “Thank you for the clarification. Will masks be required, and the number of participants be limited, similar to many farmer’s markets?’

Another resident replied to the statement with, “The times that I have been there, Trade Days resembled a huge flea market, a weekend-long (vendors camp out), very very crowded flea market with all kinds of livestock/animals. Wondering if flea markets and/or livestock sales are licensed differently than farmer’s markets?”

Following that question, a resident replied, “Does not from all my many times and years resemble a farmers market.”

Yet another resident asked the following question regarding the clarification of Trade Days, “Does the fair board have a right to refuse the use of the fairgrounds for swap days?”

Speaking with Robert Seaman on the Scioto County Fair board, he said, “Our policy this entire time has been that we rent the Fairgrounds to them and we have a contract with them three times a year, and the first two because of COVID were canceled. As a fair board, we are bound by a contract with them, but at the same time what we have been telling folks (we have others that use the grounds) that if they can get approval from the Health Department, then it is kind of on them at that point. It would be up to the event promoter to make sure he follows the guidelines they put out. All we do is rent this facility and since we’ve already got a contract with them, we are taking care of our contract.”

Seaman continued, “The health department worked with us to have a Jr. Fair and we followed the guidelines that they put forth, so the kids would be able to show their animals and such. That went on very successfully. The kids followed our guidelines, it was a smashup show.”

Lucasville Trade Days is set for Sept. 25, 26 and 27, 2020, at the Scioto County Fairgrounds.

Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928© 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights