Fair scaled down, socially distanced

Sunday's opening activities included arts and crafts and home environment judging, followed by 4-H Dog Show. A smaller version of the fair takes place this week.

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July 20, 2020 - 9:57 AM

Judge Donna Kovacic visits with Abby Rinehart about her arts and crafts entry during the Allen County Fair Sunday at Riverside Park. Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

The crowd was smaller, but there was still plenty of fun to be had Sunday, to kick off the 2020 Allen County Fair.

Sunday’s activities — arts and crafts and home environment judging, followed by the 4-H Dog Show in the evening — drew the 4-H’ers and a few family members, but little else.

The indoor judging was spaced throughout the afternoon to provide plenty of social distancing opportunities.

This year’s scaled-down version of the Fair — prompted by COVID-19 — runs through Sunday.

Starting from left, 4-H’ers Shelby Shaughnessy, Hallie Sutherland and Rohan Springer parade their dogs around the show arena. Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

That means some staples of past fairs, such as the rodeo, Baby Barnyard exhibits, Barnyard Olympics, 4-H Picnic and Style Revue, are no-gos this year. There are no open-class contests for the general public this year, either.

Still, there is some semblance of normalcy. Many of the indoor exhibits will be judged according to the usual schedule.

Tuesday’s judging — clothing construction and buymanship, fiber arts and photography  —will be at the Bowlus Fine Arts Center.

The 4-H Horse Show will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Fairgrounds.

The balance of Fair Week will remain at Riverside Park.

The 4-H exhibits will be judged and displayed at the Recreation Community Building Thursday morning and afternoon, at the same time the livestock will be unloaded at the Fairgrounds.

The 4-H Swine Show is set for 6 p.m. Thursday.

Friday’s activities include the Dairy Show at 10 a.m. and the Meat Goat Show and Sheep Show, starting at 6 p.m.

Rabbits and poultry take center stage Saturday morning, followed by the 4-H Beef Show at 6 p.m.

The Fair culminates with the 4-H/FFA Livestock Premium Auction at 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

WHILE the 2020 Fair revolves solely around 4-H activities this year, organizers expect a smattering of spectators to check out exhibits and watch the various livestock shows.

In adherence to the county and statewide mask mandate, those coming indoors must wear protective coverings over their faces. The same goes if one is outdoors but unable to social distance from other fair-goers.

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