When the Ohio State Fair, Columbus, booked the animal attraction Sea Lion Splash into the 2016 event, GM Virgil Strickler received “thousands and thousands” of emails in protest, and the fair’s Facebook page was deluged with posts from all over the world.

The year before, in 2015, the Black Lives Matter movement decided to use the Minnesota State Fair, Saint Paul, as a platform for rallies, resulting in a situation of closing and opening back up various gates to keep ...

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