The Washington County Fair Association, in partnership with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach (ISUEO) of Washington County, are planning for a 2020 ‘Youth Exhibitor Fair’ only. They are currently working together to finalize a modified fair experience that will provide opportunities to 4-H and FFA members to showcase their learning, receive evaluation and recognition.
Due to the ongoing social distancing guidelines and precautions taking place to help slow and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in this community, the Washington County Fair Association has made the difficult decision to postpone the public grandstand entertainment and public activities for the 2020 Washington County Fair. The 2020 event held July 18-25 will not be open to the public, but only to 4-H and FFA members, their immediate families and approved 4-H/Fair volunteers and committees.
Washington County Fair Association has worked with ISUEO of Washington County, Washington County Public Health, Washington County Emergency Management, the Washington County Board of Supervisors and other stakeholders. They have determined this was the best decision due to the uncertainty of the public health situation in the middle of July.
“The safety and health of exhibitors, volunteers, staff, visitors, community partners, and vendors is our number one concern,” said John Wagner, Washington County Fair Association president.
Washington County 4-H is currently finalizing the details of this modified Youth Exhibitor Fair for 2020. As these changes and logistics are finalized, information will be sent directly to families and volunteers. At this time, there are plans only for the exhibition of the youth communication projects, non-livestock/static exhibits, and livestock projects as safety guidelines allow in July.
“In this unprecedented situation, we are working hard with our Extension staff, council, and volunteers to find a safe, reasonable and rewarding option for our youth,” said Amy Green, county 4-H/youth coordinator of Washington County ISUEO. “The love for and great tradition of the Washington County Fair will not change even when it has to look different. I believe, although change is difficult, our 4-H families will embrace these plans and work passionately to make this the best year we can under these circumstances.”
4-H & FFA families and volunteers can find more detailed information of the modified exhibitor fair plans on the FAQ document at www.extension.iastate.edu/washington.
The Washington County Fair Association will be in contact with all fair vendors and sponsors in the coming weeks with more information.
“Our group is all about the kids and we really have the safety of the volunteers and community at the forefront,” said Wagner. “We would like to thank all of the fair supporters, sponsors and partners for their support of the fair and appreciate the support as we move forward with this safe alternative for 2020.”
For more information regarding these changes and for updates about events at the fairgrounds, please follow the Washington County Fair Association on Facebook and at www.washingtoncountyfairia.com .
For more information regarding 4-H and FFA events at this year’s fair, reference www.extension.iastate.edu/washington and follow Washington County 4-H – Iowa on Facebook.