WARSAW – With summer approaching quickly, many nearby county fair boards are making decisions about whether to have county fairs in light of the lingering coronavirus pandemic.
Purdue University sent out requirements to Purdue Extensions regarding July in-person events. The document details specifics on Social Distancing and what will be allowed, and what won’t be allowed. This has led some counties to make decisions that have gone both ways. Some are still undecided.
Elkhart County fair officials have already announced cancellation of this year’s fair and did so last week.
“It is with heavy hearts that we must announce that the Elkhart County 4-H Fair Board of Directors has voted to postpone the 2020 fair to be held in conjunction with the 2021 fair from July 23-31, 2021. Additionally, the board voted to allow 4-H to proceed with the 4-H programs at their discretion with the understanding that they will comply with all of Purdue’s guidelines during the traditional fair week.” said in a release from Elkhart County.
Those who have made the decision to continue;
Kosciusko Community Fair is still scheduled for July 12 to 18 but will be significantly different as a result of the pandemic. 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.
Also, there will be no open class exhibits at the Kosciusko County Community Fair this year.
Wabash County 4-H Council and livestock superintendents met to take into consideration the requirements given to them by Purdue University. With careful consideration, the 4-H Council has voted to continue planning and preparing for an in-person fair, July 10 to 18. The board is still in discussion and the early planning stages of how we will proceed.
In order to be in compliance with the Purdue’s 4-H Fair Exhibition Social Distancing requirements, there will be changes to the daily show schedules, switching to a “show and go” format along with closed judging for non-livestock projects.
Though there will be an “in-person” fair, it will look very different and will be primarily focused on achieving the opportunity to provide 4-Her’s with an exhibition activity. Wabash County practices and procedures will seek to follow CDC guidance, Indiana’s Back on Track plan, and Purdue University’s guidelines applied to fairs.
The 4-H council of Fulton County met to discuss the 2020 Fulton County 4-H Fair. At this time, the council has decided to move forward with plans to have the 2020 4-H Fair, July 12 to 18. With the stipulation that Fulton County reaches stage 5 by July 4.
Livestock shows will all be show and go events, safety precautions for all participants, volunteers, and visitors will be in place at all times. All participants and volunteers will be asked to wear a mask, health checks will be performed daily on volunteers and social distancing will be maintained.
The Fair will look very different than the past years, however, the 4-H Council is committed to celebrating the achievement of the 4-Her’s with their projects. As has always been permitted, if you have concerns about participating in person, it is possible to complete your 4-H year/project by simply turning in your record books for walking projects or turning in your non-walking project when it is due. Completing your 4-H year is always encouraged, no matter how you choose to complete.
Please note that this is subject to change if guideline changes are passed by Governor Holcomb.