AUDUBON COUNTY — For several weeks, the Audubon County Fair Board, ISU Extension and Outreach Audubon County, and the local FFA chapter advisers have been working hard with one goal in mind: to determine how to host a safe county fair amid the uncertainties and regulations put in place due to COVID-19.
This year the fair board decided to postpone the typical Audubon County Fair until July 14-18, 2021.
“Due to the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the extensive precautions to ensure the health and safety of fair-goers, volunteers, and exhibitors, we feel we are unable to host our typical fair,” officials said.
However, the board also values area youth and all the hard work they put in with their animals and static projects this year, and chose to host a 4-H/FFA livestock show — in a modified format, with specific guidelines in place.
Those shows are as scheduled:
Wednesday, July 15 — Dog Show and Pet Show
Friday, July 17 — Goats and Sheep Show, Horse Show, and Rabbit Show
Saturday, July 18 — Swine Show and Poultry Show
Sunday, July 19 — Beef Show and Support Auction
Specific details regarding livestock arrival times and stalling information will be sent out to exhibitors who have submitted their fair entries on or before the deadline.
Fair board members asked that the arena seating for the livestock shows be reserved for relatives and/or those with a special interest in an exhibitor’s project.
“This will allow us to practice safe social distancing. We will be working on ways to livestream the shows for others to view this year,” officials said.
With lockers dealing with a backlog of processing, some scheduled as far out as next year, fair organizers said there was little chance to find places to send livestock, resulting in plans for a support auction instead for the 2020 market livestock exhibitors.
“Each exhibitor has worked hard with their projects and a support auction allows the community to show their support for the exhibitor,” officials said.
Exhibitors were asked to talk with their species superintendent for specifics if they still had a need to sell their market animal.
Static Judging will also look different this year.
“We will be requiring exhibitors to drop off their projects at the Agri-Hall on Tuesday, July 14 for judging. Due to social distancing concerns, we will not be doing a face to face judging with static projects for this year,” officials said.
Exhibitors will be capped at 10 static projects. After judging on Wednesday, the projects will be showcased in the Agri-Hall. There will be safety precautions in place to allow the public to view the displays throughout the fair dates.
There are plans to have some sort of a concession stand at the horse arena and the livestock pavilion, but details are still being worked out at this time.
While Clover Kids won’t be participating in the fair week livestock shows, there are plans in the works to have a Clover Kid Day on Aug. 8. Look for more information to come from the Extension Office on details for this day.
Officials said, “We know that 2020 has been very different for us and we are doing our best to navigate through these challenges the best we can. The Audubon County Fair Board would like to thank all the supporters, sponsors, and partners for their support of the Audubon County Fair. Thanks for helping us Make It Count! We hope to see everyone at next year’s fair, July 14-18, 2021.”