By Dan Spalding
WARSAW – Kosciusko Community Fair is still scheduled for July 12 to 18 but will be significantly different as a result of the pandemic.
The annual fair will mark the 104th anniversary of the event, but the livestock portion of the activities won’t be part of fair week.
Instead, the 4-H organizers announced that the livestock show will be conducted the week prior to the fair. Changes were recently announced on the Kosciusko County 4-H Facebook page.
“Please be patient with the committees as they work to establish their individual show plans by June 5th. Livestock shows will be ‘show & go’ events. No species will be permitted on the grounds overnight per Purdue guidelines, said part of a long statement.
No times have been announced, but here is the livestock schedule:
Monday, July 6 – Beef, Rabbits
Tuesday, July 7 – Swine, Poultry
Wednesday, July 8 – Sheep, Dairy Females
Thursday, July 9 – Goats (showing in two barns)
Friday, July 10 – Dairy, Beef DCFS
The auction is being organized as an online event, the statement said.
Significant changes are also in store for 4-H exhibits.
General projects judging will be conducted in a closed format.
According to the Facebook page statement:
The exhibition will look different, but 4-H Council is committed to celebrating the achievement of the 4-H members and providing each child with the opportunity to present his/her projects either live or virtually. Safety precautions for all participants, volunteers and visitors will be in place at all times in accordance with Purdue Extension and State of Indiana requirements consisting of at a minimum:
- All participants and volunteers will be required to wear a mask on the grounds
- Health checks will be performed daily on visitors based on instructions from the county health department
- Social distancing will be required while on the grounds
- COVID-19 disinfecting
While fair organizers confirmed earlier this week that the fair is still scheduled to happen, few details have been released.
“The fair is still planned for July 12-18 as long as we remain on track to be at Stage 5 of the governor’s plan,” said Sheal Dirck, treasurer for the fair board.
Precautions are being made that will change things, he said.
“The fair will not look the same this year due to Covid-19 restrictions,” Dirck said.
“The board is meeting this week to discuss the scheduling of events and continued fair planning. Updates will be posted on our website and Facebook when we get a few more things finalized,” he said.
The fair normally kicks off activities with a parade through downtown Warsaw on a Sunday.
The county fair’s Facebook page mentions concerns about COVID-19 but does not list daily events for the upcoming fair.
One significant change is the fact that a court has reaffirmed the ban on motorized racing that had been in place for nearly 30 years.
The fair board recently settled the final aspects of a suit brought by residents of Winona Lake, who complained that the reintroduction of motorized racing in recent years was a violation of the agreement signed between nearby property owners and the fair board.
In recent years, the fair board tried to claim that the old agreement should no longer be enforced and said that the revival of racing was key to the financial health of the fairgrounds.
A temporary injunction prevented any motorized racing during the past two summers.