State Fair closure won’t hit local plans

The Allen County Fair will kick off this weekend in Iola. Organizers said the Kansas State Fair's announced closing will not further affect their already abbreviated schedule.

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Local News

July 15, 2020 - 9:50 AM

Photo by Flickr.com

The closing of this year’s Kansas State Fair — at least the public parts — will have no effect on the upcoming Allen County Fair.

In fact, this year’s renditions of the county and state fairs should be comparable in significant ways.

The Allen County Fair, which kicks off this weekend at Iola’s Riverside Park, will revolve exclusively around 4-H members and their entries.

That means several staples of years past — including the rodeo, Baby Barnyard, Style Revue, open class entries, music shows on the free stage and the best-dressed pet contest — are a no-go.

Likewise, all of the public activities related to the State Fair, including the concert series, have been scrubbed this year.

In its place will be a number of livestock shows each weekend in September, for the 4-H’ers to show off their prize-winning animals.

State Fair organizers are still investigating a way to show 4-H “static” exhibits, such as clothing, food, woodworth and photography winners from various county fairs.

“What does that mean?” asked Kathy McEwan, family and consumer sciences agent with the Southwind Extension District. “We have absolutely no details available yet.”

Following a cleanup day Saturday at the Fairgrounds, arts and crafts and home environment judging are planned for Sunday, followed by the dog show at 6 p.m. 

“Everything is still a go for us,” McEwan said.

The scene shifts to the Bowlus Fine Arts Center next Tuesday for clothing construction and buymanship, fiber arts and photography judging, before the setting returns back to Riverside Park for the rest of the week for various livestock shows.

The county fair wraps up July 26 with the 4-H/FFA livestock premium auction at 4:30 p.m.

The livestock events at the State Fair will take place over three weekends in September.

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