GIRARD, Kan. — The coronavirus pandemic has led to the cancellation of many events both locally and across the state and nation, including the Four State Farm Show, which would have been this weekend, and the Kansas State Fair.
One tradition that has continued for more than a century, however — the Crawford County Fair — will move forward as planned next week, organizers say, while making a few changes from past years to alleviate public health and safety concerns.
"The Crawford County Fair Association remains confident the 2020 Fair will continue as scheduled Wednesday July 29, through August 1st," the association said in a June press release. It reiterated that message in another release last week.
"The Fair Board is pleased to announce that all 2020 grandstand events, live music, and livestock activities will proceed as scheduled," it said. "In fact, reports of good attendance at other local Fair and Rodeo events cause optimism. County support as measured in Fair sponsorship sales are near record highs."
Events planned for the fair include the Crawford County Fair Rodeo beginning at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 29, and continuing on Thursday, the Truck and Tractor Pull from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, July 31, and the Demolition Derby from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1.
Some changes in response to COVID-19, however, include the cancellation of the fair’s bounce house and carnival rides. The fairgrounds will also have signage promoting social distancing, vendors will be spaced further apart, and fairgoers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs to allow socially distanced seating to enjoy live music each night of the fair.
The CCFA Board has met with Crawford County Deputy Health Director Dr. Linda Bean to review its plans, it noted in its press release last week.
"With 103 years of challenges behind it, (including pandemics) The Fair will endure this challenge and move forward in its second century of operation," it said.
The board also noted in its June release that it would be selling chances to win a new ATV in support of its Grandstand 2020 Project. It has raised close to $100,000 toward its $300,000 goal for the project, it said. Raffle tickets are $20 for one or six for $100, according to the fair's Facebook page.
For the latest Crawford County Fair information, visit the "Crawford County Fair, Girard, Kansas" Facebook page or the fair website, crawfordcountyfair.org.