The Logan County Fair Board announced it would be canceling the majority of this year's fair activities due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The annual fair, scheduled for August 10-15, should be a fun activity for families, and not a time for fear. Public safety and wellness is the number one priority for the Logan County Fair Board.
"As you know, this pandemic all started right about the time that we were planning to have the first circus back in Paris for the first time in about five years. We were forced to cancel it due to governmental closures of pretty much everything," said Fair Board President Wes Howard. "We were so confused as to what was going on with our world that we didn't know what to do or which way to look for answers."
Howard said that as the board began to start the first stages of planning for the 2020 Logan County Fair, little did they know the task that they had in front of them.
"We were determined to have an "as close to normal" fair as we have ever had. We planned to move forward with all plans as normal and do everything that we could to push forward and make it happen."
But as the pandemic lingered and the cases in Logan County continued to rise, the fair board knew that they would have to make significant changes to the 2020 County Fair to ensure the safety of community residents.
"As we all know, there is nothing normal about the way we do things now and we must plan for things that are completely out of our control."
Howard said that the board had taken a hard hit to their number of volunteers this year, and the board members decided to take on the extra responsibilities of filling the voids.
"Since a big part of the volunteers that we use to set things up and run things the week of the fair are of the age group of 65+, and they are considered to be in one of the higher risk groups to contract COVID-19, I could never ask them to put their lives in danger if they did not feel like they were safe out in public."
According to Howard, there will not be a carnival this year and the Rabbit Show has been canceled. The board also decided to move the check-in of all livestock and Home Economic exhibits starting Thursday, August 6, to provide social distancing during check-in's and gate admission changed to $1 on Monday, Friday and Saturday, with no admission on all other days.
"We have decided to do that so that we can stretch things out so that we social distance everyone as much as we can during the check-in process. We have also had to make some changes to the livestock shows, so we do not have too many people in one place at one time."
The Fair Board said they have taken a usual four-day livestock show and have spread it out over seven days to limit exposure.
"Will it be tougher on us, yes it will, but we know how important these parts of the fair are to our community and all the kids who take part in it."
And at the end of the day, Howard said it is about the kids, and the board is doing everything they can to make sure that the show goes on for the kids in Logan County who have worked hard to prepare for the 2020 Fair.
A new schedule of event brochures can be found in local businesses starting this week that includes the most recent fair changes.
"It will feel totally different not having all the bells, whistles and horns going off each night but, we will survive. Life will go on and we will try again next year."
For more information and updates, visit the Logan County Fair Facebook Page.