St. Joseph County 4-H Fair among first scheduled to start in Indiana

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) It remains to be seen if 4-H and covid 19 can safely coexist.

Fair officials have now closed public access to all animal areas, including the petting zoo, but plan to keep the fair open. /: (MGN)

The St. Joseph County 4-H Fair is among the first scheduled to start in the State of Indiana.

In fact the original starting date of July 3rd has already been pushed back a day to comply with the governor’s pandemic order that festivals and fairs can’t be held before the Fourth of July.

At this point the future of the fair itself remains up in the air.

If the show does go on, odds are things won’t be so grand in the grandstands.

“As it’s laid out it looks pretty difficult to put on grandstand entertainment with the seating restrictions as far as you have to do social distancing, six foot, you can’t put anybody in the bottom row,” said St. Joseph County Fair Board President James Caldwell.

Caldwell says putting on the fair this year would likely require the purchase of $10,000 worth of personal protective equipment, and $8,000 worth of hand sanitizer which would tend to put pressure on any fair budget.

“It really boils down to financials. I’m going to be very honest. At some point we have to make a decision without spending so much money that that we’re just digging ourselves into a bigger hole,” Elkhart County 4-H Fair General Manager Miranda Muir told 16 News Now.

Muir says that the entertainment plans are still in place at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair. Both fairs say their carnival companies are ready to go with rides.

Still, the days when hot weather provided the biggest threat to
The health of fairgoers seems to be a distant memory.

“How do you do social distancing in a barn?” Asked Caldwell.

“I mean nobody wants to say no, absolutely not, but at the same time it’s going to come down to how much can we do even making adjustments,” said Muir.

A decision on the fate of the Elkhart County 4-H Fair is expected on or around June first.