Officials working to find a way to open the Elkhart County 4-H Fair

Officials with the Elkhart County 4-H Fair have been working hard to try to find a way to hold this year's fair in a safe manner due to COVID-19.

On Friday the Purdue Cooperative Extension announced 4-H fairs could proceed in July if the county has reached stage 5 in the Indiana Back on Track plan.

The Elkhart County 4-H Fair is run separately from the Purdue Cooperative Extension and 4-H programs, which means fair officials and the Fair Board will make the ultimate decision.

They will be working with local health officials, state guidance and national publications to consider modifications to the fair to maintain safety.

This is the letter to the Elkhart community:

Dear Elkhart County,

As most Fair fans and 4-H supporters are aware, last Friday the Purdue Cooperative Extension released information opening up the possibility of summer programs and 4-H participation in county fair events. The Elkhart County 4-H Fair is encouraged by their decision, as the growth and development of our next generation has always been at the core of our mission.

Our Elkhart County 4-H Fair is a 501c3 not for profit organization, run separately from the Purdue Cooperative Extension and 4-H programs. It is important we distinguish this as our Executive Team and Full Fair Board will now be tasked with the continued evaluation of the COVID-19 situation, the feasibility to both financially and physically maintain necessary standards to keep our community safe, and the ultimate decision regarding our beloved summertime celebration.

This year marks my 25th anniversary as an employee of a county fair. Never did I dream all those years ago my love for my own hometown celebration would lead me on such a beautiful life journey and bring me so many amazing experiences, friends and memories. I have always felt I am a true testament of just how important these events are in the lives of so many, across the country and beyond. Now with two little ones of my own, I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to full livestock barns, the smell of fair food and the sparkle of carnival lights. It is for all of these reasons that I can truly assure you these are some of the most trying times of my life and I know many on our team feel the same.

During the next few weeks, we will continue to work closely with local health officials, consider the guidance of state and national publications and brainstorm possible modifications to this year's Fair. Please continue to pray for all the members of our team who are working extra hard, giving countless hours and all their passion in search of a successful outcome. We love you Elkhart County and cannot wait to be all together again.

Miranda Muir
General Manager

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