LAGRANGE – Organizers are still talking about the details, but it appears that 2020 LaGrange County 4-H Fair will go ahead this summer.
But the fair won’t look anything like fairs in the past, said Matt Dice, the LaGrange County Purdue University Extension Service youth educator.
Thursday, the Noble County Community Fair Corp. announced it had canceled the 2020 Noble County Fair. And officials in Steuben County announced their fair would become virtual this year.
LaGrange County’s Fair Board members are scheduled to meet next week to continue talking about how to hold a fair in the midst of a pandemic.
“It’s still going to happen, from the 4-H standpoint. But we’re still discussing the details and won’t make any decision until next week,” Dice said Thursday. “But the carnival and the food joints, they won’t be there this year.”
The extension office has been in contact with Purdue University, and the university issued a series of guidelines for the fair board to consider when planning summer events like the fair, including advice like hosting virtual events.
Indiana is scheduled to enter Stage 5 of Gov. Holcomb’s reopening plan on July 4. This would allow for festivals and other gatherings to take place.
Those festivals and gathering will have to adhere to stringent guidelines including social distancing and a required cleaning regiment.
Meeting social distancing guidelines can be nearly impossible at some fair events, like shows, so Dice said that means the cancellation of all grandstand shows at the LaGrange County fair.
“It’s just hard to make those happen and still maintain social distancing,” he explained.
Dice did say the 4-H shows will still take place, but the animals featured in those shows will not be spending fair week at the fairgrounds.
Instead, he said, 4-H members will be required to bring their animals to the fairgrounds only on the day those animals are to be shown, and then return home with those animals at the end of the day.
“It’s going to be a little simpler this year,” Dice added.
Dice said his office is still looking a several options for 4-H club member projects, including virtual presentations of any projects that require an in-person demonstration.
Of those that are allowed to be displayed at the fairgrounds, they will likely be spread out over two buildings rather than showcased in one, as has been the tradition, Dice said.