There won’t be any carnivals or rodeos this summer, but the La Plata County Fair is offering what it can given state health restrictions in place to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“It’s going to be a weird year, for sure,” said Angela Fountain with the Colorado State University Extension Office. “But I am so thankful we’re able to do what we are doing.”
Event organizers in April started discussing if the La Plata County Fair would have to be canceled, as so many other similar events across the country have, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While most popular events, like the carnival, rodeo, dance and demolition derby were canceled, Fountain said organizers were able to come up with a way to at least offer some events for the public, albeit in the virtual realm.
“We canceled all events except the 4-H and FFA (Future Farmers of America) shows,” she said. “But because we’re so limited on group size, we’re encouraging the public to not come to the event.”
Fountain said throughout the week, most of the 4-H and FFA events – where young farmers show off livestock they’ve raised throughout the year – will be livestreamed and available for viewing on the internet. The events will be livestreamed on the La Plata County Fair’s Facebook page.
The event will kick off Monday, Aug. 3, with poultry; Tuesday with goats; Wednesday with sheep; Thursday with beef; and Friday with swine.
Fountain said about 215 young farmers have signed up for the events. She said social distancing and other best health practices will be in place throughout the week for safety.
Other non-animal projects, like cake decorating and woodworking contests, will be posted on the 4-H website, Fountain said.
On Aug. 8, the livestock auction, where young farmers sell their animals, will be held. Anyone interested in buying must register in advance with Jodi Zuber at the Extension Office at 382-6465.
“With so many 4-H events around the country completely canceled, we really appreciate our Board (of Directors) and the community to support us,” Fountain said.