Most counties plan to hold fairs during pandemic, some nixing activities

Kansas

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – We’re less than a month away from county fairs kicking off throughout the state. The most common time for fairs is between July and August.

In May, Sedgwick County announced it had cancelled its fair. Other counties have made changes to what their fair will look like this year. Some won’t include entertainment, concerts and food vendors.

It’s up to county officials and local fair boards to decide what restrictions may be in place.

Many counties are doing everything they can to keep 4-H activities intact. Kids raise animals, bake foods and build robots to be judged.

“Identify what preventative steps we can take to make sure that the public is still welcome at the county fairs in our region,” said Nora Rhoades, the youth development agent for the Post Rock District of K-State Research and Extension.

That district serves Jewell, Lincoln, Mitchell, Osborne and Smith counties.

Rhoades said fairs will implement industry cleaning guidance and try to keep distance between people. They said fairs are an important learning tool for kids, but they must be done safely.

“We’re trying to make sure we can return to normal and regular events and activities,” Rhoades said.

She said county fairs mean a lot to the communities and the kids that participate in activities.

“We hear a lot of 4-H members say that the county fair is their favorite part of the 4-H year, but it’s really because that’s the showcase event that really brings a year’s worth of learning and hard work to life for them,” Rhoades said.

The Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson is scheduled to take place in mid-September.

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