WELLSTON — Despite the coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis, the Jackson County Fair will go on, but it will look a little different this year.
The fair this year will begin on Thursday, July 16, and runs through Saturday, July 25.
The Jackson County Fairboard reported that due to occupancy reduction requirements, limited seating will be available in the livestock arena and grandstand. The board noted that fairgoers need to maintain safe social distancing, wash or sanitize hands frequently, do not touch the face, and properly follow all posted safety signage.
Due to the unprecedented times, the board had decided to forego the Midway, and limited Grandstand activities this year. This means no carnival rides or games, grandstand entertainment limited, and limited commercial food vendors on site.
Admission to the county fair will vary depending on the date.
- July 16-17 is $5 per person
- July 18 is $10 per person
- July 19 is free
- July 20-23 is $5 per person
- July 24 is free
- July 25 is $15 per person (includes pit pass)
On Thursday, July 16, and Friday, July 17, there will be Harness Racing starting at 7 p.m. each night. There will be para-mutual wagering. The first 75 paid spectators will receive a free racing program courtesy of Jackson County Probate-Juvenile Judge candidates: Justin Skaggs and Randy Dupree.
Saturday, July 18, there will be Fast Traxx Motocross, presented by Vinton County National Bank. This will take place at the Bellisio Foods Grandstand.
Sunday, July 19, marks the official opening of the fair, with a ceremony to take place at the Grandstand at 6:30 p.m. The crowning of the Jr. Fair queen and court will follow.
Elizabeth Fannin will be crowned Fair Queen, Abigail Meldick will be crowned 1st Attendant, while her sister, Jennifer Meldick will be crowned 2nd Attendant.
Other royalty will include Makayla Simpson, Little Miss; Jayden Swackhammer, Little Mister; MaKayla Davidson, third/fourth-grade attendant; Katie Ross, fifth/sixth-grade attendant; Makenzie Collins, seventh/eighth-grade attendant; and Presley Sexton, ninth/10th grade attendant.
The day will feature a Queens Tea Reception (noon), 4-H Awards Ceremony (5 p.m.), and Junior Fair Fun Night (7 p.m.).
Monday, July 20, will feature rabbit, and turkey livestock shows in the show area. No other entertainment that day.
Tuesday, July 21, will feature sheep, and goat projects in the show ring. 4-H demonstrations will happen at the 4-H Building. No other entertainment that day.
Wednesday, July 22, will feature cattle shows in the ring throughout the day. No other entertainment that day.
On Thursday, July 23, will feature poultry and swine livestock shows in the show area. No other entertainment that day. The annual 4-H Cloverbud Recognition will happen as well.
The Jr. Fair Showman of Showmen Contest will be happening on Friday, July 24, at 10 a.m.
The Junior Fair Livestock Sale is set for 3 p.m., with a sale order of rabbits, chickens, turkeys, goats, dairy market feeders, steers, hogs, market beef feeders, and lambs. The livestock sale will proceed as usual. If you are unable to attend, proxy bid options will be made available. Due to COVID-19 guidelines, exhibitors will go through the sale ring without their animals. All eligible market exhibitors may go through the sale bidding as usual. However, only beef and swine projects will be available for processing. All other species will go to re-sale.
The final day of the fair, Saturday, July 25, will feature the Jr. Fair Horse Contest. The evening entertainment at the Grandstand will be a Jackson County Fair favorite as the Brent Jenkins Memorial Demolition Derby comes to town at 6 p.m.
The Courier will feature extensive coverage of the Jackson County Fair online and in the next few weekly editions. Keep an eye out for photo galleries, show results, livestock sale results and interviews with 4-H’ers.
For more information about the 2020 Jackson County Fair, visit www.jacksoncofair.com.