St. Joseph County 4-H Fair welcomes back fairgoers for the first time since the pandemic

NOW: St. Joseph County 4-H Fair welcomes back fairgoers for the first time since the pandemic

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ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, In.- Many people came out to the St. Joseph County 4H Fair Friday to enjoy everything the fair has to offer. The St. Joseph County Fair is the first fair to return to Michiana this summer. 

Many people at the fair were glad to be back. 

“We missed the whole year and a half. It's good to see people, and faces and everybody is happy to be back,” said Randy Reed, who was visiting the fair with friends.

County fairs are a sure sign of summer, with their deep-fried Oreos, funnel cakes, the sound of people screaming at the top of their lungs on a carnival ride, or even waiting in line to get a refreshing cup of lemonade. The St. Joseph County fair marks a return to normalcy, that we have all been waiting on.

“There’s lots to do, lots to see, lots to eat, and just a great day to get out,” St. Joseph County 4H Fair president Jim Caldwell said.

The 96th fair has been in the works since last year after the 2020 fair got canceled. Caldwell said the pandemic was tough on the non-profit organization, where they rely heavily on fundraisers. Now that the fair is back on for 2021, they're not only able to welcome fairgoers, but also the vendors who help make it happen.

“We’re just glad to be out this year. Last year it kind of fell right through the floor for all us concessioners,” Jeff Bruce, the owner of Bruce’s Concessions said. 

 Vendors took a financial hit throughout the pandemic. With event cancelations, they struggled to make a livable wage. Now with places like the fair opening back up, it helps vendors tremendously.

"The vendors, the food vendors in particular, but also the ride companies and the merchants," Caldwell said. "This is a relief for them to be able to be here."

The fair will be going on until July 10 from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fireworks will be going on every weekend starting at 10 p.m. Tickets are five dollars and kids eight and under are free. 

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