While most county fairs opted to forgo this year’s festivities due to the pandemic, some counties are still continuing on with their fair. But, just because a fair is happening does not mean that it will be business as usual. Many fairs this year will not have carnival rides or grandstand events and most are continuing on just so youth exhibitors can still exhibit their projects. The idea that a county fair taking place this year will not look like the county fair you’re used to cannot be stressed enough.
The Lafayette County Fair is set to take place July 15th-19th in Darlington. Kari Ruf, the Manager of the Fair, says “first and foremost this fair…is about the kids.” According to Ruf there will be a limited amount of food vendors, no carnival, and all fair goers will have to sign a waiver upon entering the fairgrounds. This is being done due to liability reasons. “We just want people to understand that this is your personal choice to come to the fair and that’s what that waiver is saying,” Ruf says.
Large and small animal shows will look quite different this year at the Lafayette County Fair. Each species will be shown on a specific day with small animals being brought on and taken off the fairgrounds in the same day. Livestock will be brought in the afternoon prior to the next show day. Ruf explains that sanitation measures will be taken and the barns will be locked down at night so there is no place for people to congregate. The auction will be held in the grandstand for social distancing reasons. Instead of having the live animals, pictures of the exhibitor and their project will be shown on a large screen for buyers to see.
Remember, fair boards this year were put in an incredibly tough situation. It is tough to hold an event such as a county fair during a time when social distancing is encouraged. Many fairs opted to not continue on with 2020 plans due to that, as well as financial and liability concerns. But, fairs such as Lafayette are doing their absolute best to make sure that youth exhibitors can not only show, but also sell their projects. For a full list of county fairs and their status, click right here.