The Delaware County Junior Fair is going to look much different this year for its participants due to the novel coronavirus.
“The Delaware County Fair will conduct only a junior fair this year,” fair officials announced on the Delaware County Fair Facebook page on July 28.
“We are grateful the Delaware County Agricultural Society Board made the decision to move forward with the 2020 Junior Fair,” said the Junior Fair Sale Committee on Facebook. “This decision was not taken lightly, but we have a duty to be responsible and follow the guidelines set by state and local officials in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The biggest change for this year’s junior fair is there will be a virtual online sale “out of concern for the safety and well-being of the youth, their families, volunteers and buyers.” The details of this sale are described elsewhere in this special section. “Moving forward with a virtual sale allows us to conduct a sale for the youth exhibitors regardless of the guidelines in place in September,” the sale committee said.
Otherwise, youth exhibitors will have to follow special guidelines as a result of COVID-19.
The Delaware County Ohio State University Extension Office said in a newsletter issued to participants, “We ask that you come to the Delaware County Junior Fair prepared to follow the protocol that has been established by the Ag Society Board in cooperation with the Delaware General Health District. The protocol follows the governor’s orders, which were made effective July 30, 2020.”
“We are excited to be able to have a junior fair, even though it will look different and so will we, with our masks on,” the newsletter continued. “Please remember to follow the protocol and be kind and considerate when volunteers and fair staff remind you of the guidelines that need to be followed.”
In addition to wearing masks, the protocol to be followed includes:
• A 10 p.m. curfew, or participants must leave the fairgrounds within 30 minutes if judging or an auction goes past 10 p.m. Campers must be in their trailers during curfew.
• Participants and their immediate family will be given wristbands that will grant them entrance. They will enter and exit the gate between Euclid Avenue and the armory.
• Participants and attendees must take their temperature with a thermometer daily. Anyone experiencing fever, coughing, or trouble breathing should stay home.
• There is a limit of 10 exhibitors at a time in a show arena. The only exception is the outdoor horse show arena, which will allow 20 exhibitors at a time. Exhibitors will be spaced out within the judging area. Tables and microphones will be cleaned between participants and speakers.
• Anyone watching must maintain social distancing guidelines of 6 feet between parties.
• Physical contact is not permitted between judges, exhibitors, participants, buyers and sellers. That includes high-fives, hugs and handshakes. Thank you notes or gifts can be sent and not given in person.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.