By Amy Moshier
Marion County Fair fans may experience changes in how they can participate in the fair next year, due to recent violence at last week’s fair.
Three people were injured Saturday night, including a teenage male who was shot, according to Abdul-Hakim Shabazz, a member of the Marion County Fair Board. The commotion was caused when between 100-150 people – mostly young – were waiting to get into the fair. The crowd attempted to surge their way in, when the fair was at its legal capacity of 10,000 people.
After the crowd forced their way in the fair, several fights broke out and multiple shots were fired, resulting in an underage male being shot. He was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
A Marion County sheriff’s deputy sustained minor injuries, as well as another fair participant, a female juvenile.
The fair closed for the remainder of the night and on Sunday.
Marion County Fair Board is considering multiple ways to help keep the fair safe for everyone in the coming years, according to Shabazz. One idea is to require that juveniles under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian in order to participate in the fair.
“We have always had an approach of safety first,” he said. “We want a safe, family-first environment.”