Cat show 2

Delaney Ott listens as the judge asks her about her cat Alex during the cat show at the Noble County Community Fair in 2019.

KENDALLVILLE — Coronavirus strikes again, bringing an end to one of the largest summer attractions in Noble County.

The Noble County Community Fair Corp. announced Thursday, that this year’s Noble County Fair scheduled for July 12-18 has been canceled.

Amy Fischer, treasurer of the Noble County Fair Board said the decision, which was made Wednesday night was a tough one.

“We had quite a lengthy discussion about what it would take to put the event on,” she said. “We couldn’t get past the logistics and the financial end of what it would take to comply with regulations.”

Fischer said the board looked at several options before making the announcement. If the board would have moved forward with the fair, it would’ve fell a week after the state was scheduled to move into Stage 5 of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s “Back on Track Indiana” plan.

“There was just so much of an unknown,” she said.

Despite the cancellation of the fair, Noble County 4-H leaders are moving ahead with a modified 4-H portion of the fair. Local youth 4-H participants will still be allowed to show their animals during the scheduled fair week.

Doug Keenan, county extension director said youth shows will continue on a limited basis as long as the state moves to Stage 5.

The shows will be open to limited spectators including the youth and their family. No animals will be kept at the fairgrounds overnight. Once a participant shows his or her animal for the day, they will be expected to take it home.

Keenan said that all state, local, CDC and Purdue Extension guidelines will be followed during the shows.

The livestock shows will be spread out throughout the week to allow competitors to show more than one animal.

If the state doesn’t move forward with Stage 5, Keenan said their is also the possibility that youth will take part in events virtually.

The recent cancellations of events at the Noble County Fairgrounds due to COVID-19 has put a hurt on the fairgrounds checkbook.

For a nonprofit organization that exists to host events and makes almost all of its revenue from rentals and admissions and fees to its annual county fair, revenue for the fair board has essentially dried up.

Fischer said the fair tends to be the biggest money maker of the year.

“That was something we had to consider,” she said.

One of the biggest considerations was whether patrons would show up to the fair or not.

“We didn’t know who would come or who would have the disposable income to come,” Fischer said.

The fair board is working with all vendors on transferring contracts to 2021.

Fischer said everyone has been easy to work with.

In the end a release from the board said, “In these challenging times we felt this decision was in the best interest of all involved.

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