Johnson County Fair cancels in-person entertainment

With uncertainty surrounding the novel coronavirus, the Johnson County Fair Board and the Johnson County Agricultural Association announced the annual summer fair won't have in-person entertainment.

Fans+gather+to+meet+monster+truck+drivers+during+the+first-evert+All-Star+Monster+Trucks+show+at+the+Johnson+County+Fair+on+July+21%2C+2019.

Tian Liu

Fans gather to meet monster truck drivers during the first-evert All-Star Monster Trucks show at the Johnson County Fair on July 21, 2019.

Sarah Watson, Managing Editor

The Johnson County Fair, slated for July, won’t have grandstand or ground entertainment this year.

In a press release Thursday, the Johnson County Agricultural Association and the Johnson County Fair Board announced they would be canceling all in-person entertainment for the fair to mitigate spread of COVID-19, but would find ways to exhibit 4-H projects.

“After consulting with Johnson County Public Health, Johnson County Emergency Management, the Johnson County Board of Supervisors, and fair board members, it was determined this was the best decision due to the uncertainty of what the public health situation may look like at the end of July. We want nothing more than to have a fair, however, volunteers, visitors; youth of Johnson County and staff health and safety are our main concern,” Johnson County Fair Board President Charlie Isaacs said in a prepared statement.

Johnson County 4-H is navigating options to still exhibit 4-H projects in nontraditional ways, according to the release. The county organization is working with Iowa State University Extension on next steps.

“Even though fair in 2020 needs to happen in non-traditional ways, exhibits and evaluation of exhibits are important to help 4-H members complete their project learning,” the release stated.

Johnson County joins other counties, including neighboring Linn County, in canceling its county fair. These fairs represent a chunk of income for Iowa towns statewide. According to 2019 economic impact report from the Iowa Association of Fairs, more than 2.3 million people attended 105 county and Regional Fairs in 2019, and the total economic impact on the state was more than $326 million.

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