Updates on Michiana county fairs this summer
County fairs throughout Michigan have been cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19. We have compiled information on each county fair in Michiana.
Elkhart County, Indiana
The Elkhart County 4-H Fair has been cancelled for 2020. Even though the fair is cancelled, you can still get your favorite fair food at the Fair Food Drive Thru. Click here for more information on the drive thru
The Elkhart County 4-H Fair has been canceled for 2020, but the fair board said it will allow 4-H to proceed with its programs. They are hoping to have an event in August for the community and plan to release details about that in the future.
Fulton County, Indiana
As of May 21, the Fulton County 4-H Fair is moving forward. Here's the latest update from Facebook.
Tonight the 4-H council of Fulton County met to discuss the 2020 Fulton County 4-H Fair. At this time, the council has decided to move forward with plans to have the 2020 4-H Fair, with the stipulation that Fulton County reaches stage 5 by July 4. Livestock shows will all be show and go events, safety precautions for all participants, volunteers and visitors will be in place at all times. All participants and volunteers will be asked to wear a mask, health checks will be performed daily on volunteers and social distancing will be maintained. Fair will look very different than the past years, however the 4-H Council is committed to celebrating the achievement of the 4-Her’s with their projects. As has always been permitted, if you have concerns about participating in person, it is possible to complete your 4-H year/project by simply turning in your record books for walking projects or turning in your non-walking project when it is due. Completing your 4-H year is always encouraged, no matter how you choose to complete.
Kosciusko County, Indiana
The Kosciusko County Fair has been cancelled.
The Kosciusko County Community Fair strives to maintain the highest standard of safety and responsibility for our fair family.
This year has been unprecedented for its effect on the world and our lives. Painful decisions have had to be made by many people, including the Kosciusko County Fair Board. Believe me, it was not a very easy decision to make.
Unfortunately, we have found ourselves with no choice but to cancel the fair for this year. There's no easy way to say it.
There are so many moving parts to all of this, and over the past few weeks, several key components of the Fair were affected by decisions beyond our control. Making it impossible for us to continue our plan for 2020.
Our responsibility is the safety and health of our many workers, volunteers, carnival workers, vendors, exhibitors, and the forty-thousand visitors we have the privilege of hosting each year. The many health and safety requirements are simply impossible for us to achieve at this time.
Please be assured, we will be back next year, and we hope you will be too. We pride ourselves in offering a family-friendly fair. Your participation is why we succeed, and we want you to continue to participate as you have in the past.
So mark your calendars for July 11th - July 17th, 2021 for us all to gather together again to have fun and make great memories!
La Grange County, Indiana
The La Grange County 4-H Fair will be held for 4-H participants but there will be no attractions, ground acts or grandstand events.
La Porte County, Indiana
The La Porte County Fair has been cancelled.
“For the last 174 years, the La Porte County Fair has been held without hesitation and the Board is extremely proud of that,” said Steve Mrozinski, Board President. “However, our priority is the safety of all of those involved in making our Fair great. After reviewing federal, state, and local guidelines, and knowing how quickly and easily the Covid-19 virus spreads in large groups of people, the Board did not feel it would be possible nor prudent to have the Fair at this time. This is due in large part to the uncertainty around planning for large gatherings and ensuring proper implementation of Covid-19 safety protocols.”
“Although an extremely difficult decision, the Board decided that cancelling this year’s Fair was in the best interests of all those involved,” said Don Stoner, Fair Manager. “However, this will allow us to focus our efforts on 2021 and what will still be the 175th year of the La Porte County Fair. The Fair Board will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that the 175th Fair will be one of the best.”
Those that have already purchased tickets for the Fair or any musical acts, including for Toby Keith, will receive a separate communication from the Fair office in the coming weeks as to how those tickets will be handled. Any questions regarding 4-H and LaPorte County Virtual 4-H should be directed to the Purdue Extension’s La Porte Office at (219) 324-9407.
Marshall County, Indiana
The Marshall County 4-H Fair has been cancelled.
While they could have accommodated the changes required due to COVID-19 restrictions, the restrictions also made it too difficult financially. They would have needed to limit vendors, parking passes and other sources of income to meet social distancing requirements. Officials said there wasn't enough money in the general fund or savings to support the fair this year. They do plan to allow 4-H members to exhibit their projects and showcase their efforts through a virtual fair. They will also be exploring options on how to honor the 10-year members.
St. Joseph County, Indiana
The St. Joseph County 4-H Fair has been cancelled. While the fair is cancelled, 4-H is not. There will be a virtual fair to give 4-H members an opportunity to exhibit their projects and be recognized for their efforts. More information will be released about this plan at a later date. The fair had been scheduled for July 3-11.
"Please know, this decision did not come lightly. This is the most emotionally difficult decision the Fair Board has ever had to make. We look forward to being together in person again in 2021, and plan to come back stronger than ever," fair officials stated in the press release.
Starke County, Indiana
The Starke County Fair has been cancelled.
Last week Purdue released information that in-person fairs could happen if the county was at Stage 5 of the Governor’s “Back On Track Indiana” plan. Purdue also provided each county with a six-page document of guidelines that must be met in order to host a 4-H fair in 2020 at Stage 5. Some of those guidelines consisted of every employee, volunteer, and 4-Her being required to wear a mask while on the fairgrounds, keeping records of everyone who attends for contact tracing purposes, an excessive amount and frequency of sanitizing, maintaining the CDC requirement of a 6-foot distance between each person while limiting the amount of people in order to maintain that social distance, no livestock on the fairgrounds overnight, and many more.
Due to the layout of our fairgrounds, the cost and availability of sanitizers, the risk to members and volunteers, and the other restrictions placed on us, it was decided that Starke County will not have an in-person fair this year. In addition, there will be no virtual fair. Members can and should complete their books to finish the year. More information will be coming from the extension office in regards to when books will be due.
Please know that this was not an easy decision for anyone. We all love 4-H. However, when making this decision, we had to keep in mind that the 4-H we all know and love is not what this year’s fair would have looked like. There would be no playing tag at night with your friends, no hanging out in the campground, no strolling the streets while eating your favorite flavor of shaved ice, there would be no battle of the barns, no fishing for fifty cents, no breakfast with friends and family on Wednesday morning, and no livestock auction.
Remember, we have all placed our hands on our hearts and recited the 4-H pledge which in part states that we pledge our health to better living, for our clubs, our community, our country, and our world. We are 4-Hers, and we are resilient. Here’s to early planning for 2021.
Berrien County, Michigan
The 75th Berrien County Youth Fair will be postponed until August 16th-21st, 2021.
St. Joseph County, Michigan
The St. Joseph County Fair will be held September 20-16. Click here for more information
There will be a fair food drive thru June 12 and 13.
Van Buren County, Michigan
The Van Buren Youth Fair has been cancelled. It had been scheduled for July 20 - 25.