ALBION — The Boone County Fair is still on.
But because of COVID-19 restrictions, this year’s fair will be different.
That’s the word from organizers of the event, which will take place Saturday, July 11, through Wednesday, July 15.
Organizers said they worked with the local health department to discuss all the events and a way they might still take place. It was a difficult process, with many guidelines that have to be followed.
There also were some tough decisions that had to be made, organizers said. That included canceling the Sawyer Brown and Parmalee concert and the monster trucks. There just would be too many people to follow the restrictions, organizers said.
There also will not be any commercial booths.
Among the regulations that must be followed for this year’s fair:
— People must remain 6 feet apart and follow all social distance requirements.
— There are plenty of wash stations and hand sanitizer stations that people will be asked to use.
— People who have a temperature or cough, are feeling ill or know they have been around someone recently who has COVID-19 are urged to stay home.
— Masks are strongly recommended but not required.
— Officials from the health department will be out to make sure the rules are being followed.
The fair itself is free, but there is cost for grandstand events. There are specials if tickets are purchased ahead of time, such as by going online to purchase tickets for the Sunday races.
Among the events that will be taking place is the gun show. There will be a route that those attending must follow.
The FFA and 4-H events are going on as usual, but the auction will be different. When the animals are sold, the exhibitor and the animal will be in the building and it will be televised for the bidders to watch. Bidders will not be able to be in the building with the exhibitor and animal.
Another popular event that will be changed this year is the fair parade on Sunday. No candy or items will be allowed to be thrown, but there will be a parade. People also cannot congregate in the park.
There will not be a barbecue this year, but there will be food trucks available.
One of the highlights will be an open house for the new Boone County Agriculture and Education Center, which covers 55,000 square feet. The open house for the public will take place Sunday, July 12, from 4 to 6 p.m. The building then will be used later in the week.
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Want to learn more?
For the latest fair information and schedules, people are encouraged to go to the fair’s web page at www.boonecountyfairne.org.