Limited Winnebago County Fair is closed to the public

Andrew Shaw

4-H and FFA youth in Winnebago County will have the opportunity to show their fair projects this week at the Winnebago County Fair, but the handful of shows being held this year are not open to the public.

The Winnebago County Fair Board decided in June to cancel all entertainment for the 2020 fair, due to COVID-19, but they still wanted to give youth the opportunity to show their projects. The fair board and the Winnebago County Extension Office have put plans in place for the kids to show livestock and submit static exhibits for judging.

Livestock shows will be held on three days this week, Thursday through Saturday, and attendance will be limited to exhibitors, their immediate families, and volunteers. The schedule for shows has a few changes from past years, beginning with the horse show that will be held all on one day, Thursday, July 16, beginning at 10:30 a.m. The beef show will be held Friday morning at 9:30 a.m., and the sheep and goat show will be held Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. Saturday will feature the swine show at 10 a.m. and the rabbit show at 1 p.m. There will be no poultry show this year, due to a lack of entries.

Fair organizers recommend that people wear face coverings and honor social distancing at the livestock shows. Hand sanitizer will also be available at the fairgrounds. Anyone who is not feeling well is asked to stay home.

4-H kids with static exhibits will not meet with a judge in person this year, but they will be able to drop off their exhibits Wednesday, July 15 from 4 to 7 p.m. by driving up to the north side doors of the 4-H building. The projects will be judged on Thursday, and the 4-H building will remain locked to the public. Static projects can then be picked up at the 4-H building on Sunday from 4 to 7 p.m.

The Extension Office plans to make a video to highlight the youth and their entries at this year’s fair.

The ribbon auction will also be held this year but in an online format. The fair board is working with Hallberg Auction and plans to have ribbon auction listings online at the start of next week, with a closing date of Sunday, July 26.

The Winnebago County Fair Board had been hoping to host some sort of event later this summer, but Fair Board President Tom Thompson says they’ve given up on that due to the ongoing uncertainty over COVID-19. He says they’ll be saving their entertainment funds and hope to put on a good show in 2021.



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