In what they called a “painstaking, humble decision,” the Steuben County 4-H Fair Board has announced that events will not be held in person this year due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
A release published on the board’s web site on Thursday says the annual exhibition will be taking place online instead. The fair board says the requirements issued by both Governor Eric Holcomb and Purdue University — including social distancing in all areas, daily health screenings of volunteers and staff, registration of all attendees, and sanitation of all touched surfaces — were impractical for the fair.
But while the board says they grieve this year’s loss of the fair we’ve always known, they’re grateful that 4-H has been prioritized, and they want to continue the tradition of youth putting their hard work on display. They’ll be using the FairEntry online system for submissions as usual, and the board will work alongside the Extension Office to find platforms to display exhibits to the public. Scorecards and ribbons will be distributed later.
They also plan to recognize 10-year 4-H members and graduating seniors. A support auction for market animals that were exhibited virtually is also in the works, and there will be more information on that after the auction committee meets at a future date.
The board encourages everyone to participate, but they understand if exhbitors choose not to, and they say there is no shame or penalty for that. They add that no matter your opinion of the decision, they kindly ask that you refrain from disrespectful dialogue and discourse, and be of good character.
If you have any questions, you can call the Steuben County 4-H Fair Board at (260) 668-1000 ext. 1400.