County Fair to go ahead with ‘4-H only’ option

El Paso County is going ahead with a modified County Fair for 2020. 

With events nationwide being canceled and postponed due to COVID-19, the 115th Annual County Fair will only feature 4-H exhibits and attractions.

4-H is an informal, practical U.S.-based educational program where kids and teens complete hands-on projects in science, agriculture, health and civic engagement and receive guidance from adult mentors. 

Under normal circumstances, the fair would be held July 11-18 and include around 200 activities that would draw approximately 25,000 participants and spectators. 

The County decided to carry on the fair tradition while providing a safe environment, it said in an announcement yesterday, but said large special events would be difficult while maintaining social distancing requirements at performances, carnival and vendor areas. 

The 4-H Only Fair option aims to allow 4-H participants to complete their projects and potentially participate at the State Fair.

“We all wish we could offer our regular County Fair,” Lori Harfert, chair of the Fair Advisory Board, said in a news release. “We are very interested in providing a positive 4-H Fair experience for our youth.”

County staff will work with Public Health officials to determine the procedures for offering a 4-H Fair.   This will likely include a limit on the number of individuals in barns, social distancing, and other safety measures. More information will be released in the coming weeks.

As the state guidelines evolve regarding COVID-19, the county will reevaluate County Fair special events like the Demolition Derby as potential stand-alone events later in the year.