Fairs? Fourth of July? What’s Going On?

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Summers have a schedule. The time out of school for kids have time posts that mark the passage of the time until school starts rolling again.

Normally we would have just passed time post #1 which is Memorial Day. In towns and cities that have public pools, that is usually also the day that the pool opens for the summer. That is usually followed by the official end of school, often early in June.

Next on the summer schedule especially for the younger kids is summer baseball and softball leagues. That usually takes up. Much of the month of June. As the local baseball and softball winds down the county fair circuit starts to wind up for the year.

As the ball winds down and the fairs start up, Independence Day sneaks in to remind us what of our history and where we live. After the Fourth of July and all the fireworks the fair season gets into full swing. For the kids in small towns this is usually a time for some pretty heavy involvement. Many of the kids in the small towns are involved in 4H or have projects on their own that they exhibit at the fair.

The county fair circuit runs until the Iowa State Fair takes center stage usually around the middle of August. Usually hot, always bright the Iowa State Fair seems to be the standard by which all state fairs are judged. For Iowans, the state fair is a great break from the farm or the office, a place to see the new geegaws and try some strange foods.

And then it is time for school to start again.

As with everything, the Fourth of July and the county and state fairs will be affected by the coronavirus. School has been on a hiatus since the middle of March. Decisions have yet to be made as to what the next school year will look like. Right now it looks like the best idea to find out if there is a Fourth of July celebration in your area, the best way to find out would be to google your area’s celebration. My guess is that this will be a very quiet Fourth.

If you hadn’t heard it, both the Minnesota State Fair and the Wisconsin State Fair have been cancelled for this year.

The county fairs, however, did form an association a couple of years ago. They do have a website where they are tracking Iowa’s county fairs. At first glance it looks like a lot of fairs are cancelled until next year. If your county fair is not listed, once again google the fair by name. As the dates get closer, decisions will be made on whether to hold a fair this year.

For right now here is the list from their website: (ed. note: I believe these are in date order)

2020 Fair Announcements
Contact the Fairs listed below for further updates. Their contact information is iisted under the ‘Member Fairs’ menu

Big Four Fair, June 19 – 21 (Postville) is postponed to June 18 – 20, 2021

Wapello County Regional Fair, June 18 -21 (Eldon) is postponed to June 16 – 20, 2021

Worth County Fair, June 17 – 21 (Northwood) is postponed to June 16 – 20, 2021
Status of 2020 4-H/FFA Shows unknown at this time.

Linn County Fair, June 24 – 29 (Central City) is postponed to June 23 – 27, 2021
Status of 2020 4-H/FFA Shows unknown at this time.

Benton County Fair. June 24 – 28 (Vinton) is postponed to June 23 – 27, 2021
Status of 2020 4-H/FFA Shows unknown at this time.

Butler County Fair, June 24 – 28 (Allison) is postponed to June 22 – 27, 2021
Status of 2020 4-H/FFA Shows unknown at this time.

Mighty Howard County Fair, June 23 -28 (Cresco) is postponed to June 22 – 27, 2021
Status of 2020 4-H/FFA Shows unknown at this time.

Greater Jefferson County Fair, June 24 – 28 (Fairfield) is postponed to June 23  – 27, 2021
Status of 2020 4-H/FFA Shows is unknown at this time.

Buchanan County Fair, July 7 -11 (Independence) is postponed to 2021 (dates TBD)
Status of 2020 4-H/FFA Shows in unknown at this time.

Greene County Fair, July 7 – 12, 2020 (Jefferson)
No entertainment, open class or public events. Youth shows uncertain at this time.

Ringgold County Fair, July 8 – 12 (Mt. Ayr)
No entertainment – Youth Shows and Open Class will be held, pending guidelines by Public Health

Davis County Fair, July 14 – 19 (Bloomfield) is postponed to 2021 (dates TBD)
Status of 2020 4-H/FFA Shows unknown at this time.

Montgomery County Fair, July 14 – 19 (Red Oak) is postponed to 2021 (dates TBD)
4-H/FFA Shows are tentatively being held on a ‘Show & Go’ basis (depending on CDC and Public Health guidelines)

Audubon County Fair, July 15 – 19 (Audubon)
No open class, entertainment, commerical exhibits, food stands and other attractions
4-H/FFA Shows only as determined by County Extension Service and State/Local Public Health Guidelines

Cherokee County Fair, July 15 – 19, (Cherokee) is postponed to July 21-25, 2021
Status of 2020 4-H/FFA Shows unknown at this time.

Franklin County Fair, July 15 – 19, (Hampton) is postponed to 2021 (dates TBD)
Status of 4-H/FFA Shows is unknown at this time.

Taylor County Fair, July 15 – 19 (Bedford)
No open class, entertainment, commercial exhibits, concessions, camping and other attractions
Youth Shows will be ‘Show & Go’ type of format as safety guidelines will allow. Immediate family only, with face masks strongly recommended.

Palo Alto County Fair, July 16 – 19 (Emmetsburg)
No open class, entertainment, commercial exhibits, food stands and other attractions
4-H & FFA shows only on a ‘Show & Go’ basis as allowed by CDC & Public Health

North Iowa Fair, July 16 – 19 (Mason City) is postponed to 2021 (dates TBD)
Status of 4-H/FFA Shows is unknown at this time.

Appanoose County Fair, July 20 – 25 (Centerville) is postponed to July 19 – 24, 2021
Status of 2020 4-H/FFA Shows unknown at this time.

Washington County Fair, July 20 – 25 (Washington) is postponed to 2021 (dates TBD)
Current plans are only for the exhibition of the youth communication projects,
non-livestock/static exhibits, and livestock projects as safety guidelines will allow in July.
This is open only to 4-H and FFA members, their immediate families and approved 4-H/Fair volunteers and committees.

The Great Jones County Fair, July 22 – 26 (Monticello) is postponed to 2021 (dates TBD)
4-H/FFA Shows are tentatively being held, depending on CDC and IDPH guidelines.

Johnson County Fair, July 26 – 29 (Iowa City) is postponed to July 25 – 28, 2021
4-H/FFA Shows are tentatively being held, depending on CDC and Public Health guidelines.

Des Moines County Fair, July 29 – August 4, (Burlington)
Planning only the exhibition of youth communications, static and livestock projects as safety guidelines will allow.

Final decision on allowing camping and food vendors willbe made by June 20

As of May 28, 2020 all other Iowa County Fairs and the Iowa State Fair
are planning on holding their 2020 Fair.

Check back for further updates on the status of the Fairs in Iowa.

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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