GREENCASTLE — A scaled back Putnam County Fair is being planned for July.
Organizers, like those in other Indiana counties, have been digesting fair guidelines set last week by Purdue Extension. The fairs can take place, but they must meet strict COVID-19 safety restrictions. As a result, some counties are limiting their fairs to virtual 4-H productions, or holding in person fairs without the usual midway rides and other attractions.
That appears to be the direction Putnam County is headed, based on the fair's latest Facebook posting:
We are pleased to announce that the Putnam County 4-H Fair will be a live, in person fair, though attendance at the fair will primarily be only 4-H families and volunteers. Any 4-H member with concerns of coming to the fair will have the option to submit projects virtually in 2020.
Please know that we will be ready to move to a virtual event should a COVID-19 local hotspot develop or should Putnam County not be at Governor Holcomb’s Indiana Back on Track plan level 5 status. Though there will be an in person fair, it will look very different and will be primarily focused on achieving the opportunity to provide 4-Her’s with an exhibition activity. Our practices and procedures will seek to follow CDC guidance, Indiana’s Back on Track plan and Purdue University’s guidelines applied to fairs.
The fair will take place July 17-24, although some fair-related events may be moved to a later date. Additional plans were spelled out in the Facebook posting.
- Livestock shows will continue on their usual days with the exception of beef and swine. The beef show will be on Monday, July 20 and the swine show will be on Tuesday, July 21. The horse and pony shows will be Sunday, July 19; Tuesday, July 21 and Wednesday, July 22.
- No livestock will be penned overnight, meaning all livestock will arrive, be exhibited and go home on the same day. Shows will be streamlined such that there will be no end-of-day grand drives.
- All 4-H exhibit hall projects will be done via drive by drop off over several days. With the exception of food related projects that will need to be dropped off on the day of judging, we encourage families to drop off all projects at one time. All project judging will be done in a “closed” format rather than our traditional open judging format.
- All 4-Hers, 4-H volunteers and staff must wear face coverings when engaged in 4-H activities at fair events. Social distancing and contact tracing will also be required.
- The Thursday evening highlight of Supreme Showmanship will occur with a limited viewing audience. It is hoped that this event as well as most of the livestock shows will be live streamed.
- There will be no live 4-H livestock auction in 2020, however the fair board is currently looking at alternative solutions.
- Camping will be available for any 4-H families who wish to camp and stay at the fairgrounds.
- The plan is to have a few food vendors for the 4-H families who are on site during the day.
- There will be no weekly gate passes or daily entry fees.
- There will not be a carnival or commercial tent.
- Special events like baby contest, fair parade, truck pulls, antique tractor show, bands, concerts have been postponed.
- The cheerleading contest is postponed
- The queen contest is still on, however the contest will be open only for participant’s families and sponsors.