Cherokee County Fair postpones non-youth events this year


In a statement on its Facebook page May 14, the Cherokee County Fair Board announced it has postponed all non-youth activities until 2021. The fair is slated for July 15-19.
The statement, signed by Brad Nelson, president of the Cherokee County Fair Association, said, “The Cherokee County Fair Association’s executive board has made the difficult decision to postpone all non-youth related activities to include all main arena events, carnival, commercial exhibits, food venders and on-grounds entertainment. We will be postponing our 2020 fair to July 21-25 of 2021. We feel this is safest for our community, staff, volunteers, exhibitors and vendors.”
The statement noted the county fair association has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic crisis since early March, and it has become clear to the executive board that the traditional, annual fair may look different if a fair is to be held at all.
The board has been meeting regularly to keep abreast of the situation. Board members have been actively engaged in attending Zoom meetings with the Association of Iowa Fairs (AIF) and the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE).
The Cherokee board has also been closely monitoring the CDC and IDPH guidelines set out for reopening communities and businesses. The board has been practicing social distancing, creating mitigation processes for the time when the fair would be able to open up to the public.
On April 6, the difficult decision was made to cancel all upcoming fairground rentals. It was also decided that the expo building would be closed as an effort to protect members and to mitigate any COVID-19, community-spread threat.
The board will continue to keep the expo building closed to members to include all outside arenas and buildings at this time. In the event the governor relaxes certain items in her proclamation, the board would reevaluate its decision and adjust accordingly.
The board relies on the kindness of volunteers to assist in making the fair run smoothly. These folks help with gates, food stands, animal shows, static shows, building watch, cart drivers and more.
The volunteers largely consist of the population which is considered at high risk to be infected by this virus. The board believes it is in the best interest of the community to not place people at risk.