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September 26, 2020

9/15/2020 9:31:00 AM
Summer season concludes with modified county fair
As we all know, the Iowa County Fair has been known as the event designated as "Iowa County's end of summer."
Because of the global coronavirus pandemic, Iowa County Fair Board of Director Morgan Pittz-Worek stated the biggest challenge was to whether or not have the fair, and if so at what capacity. Despite area county fairs pulling the plug, the Iowa County Fair Board met earlier this year and made the decision to keep the local event going with modifications.
"All parties agreed that the most important thing that we could do as a county and as mentors, was to provide some sort of normalcy and consistency for the kids that mean so much to us, and that have worked so hard throughout the year," Worek said. "Therefore, it was decided to focus the fair strictly on the youth and their exhibits this year."
Although the fair is an event for all ages, the fair board felt it best to focus on the youth for multiple reasons. This year,
"They have been working on their projects and invested a lot of time and money on them throughout the year," Worek said. "We wanted them to be able to have an educational experience and develop skills that they will use throughout the rest of their lives."
This year it was different however, as there were no carnival rides nor grandstand events. The Demolition Derby took place at the end of July, and no harness racing took place this year. Had the full version of the Iowa County Fair occurred, the main grandstand entertainer would have been country singer Joe Diffie. Diffie, 61, unfortunately passed away earlier this year due to complications from COVID-19.
Measures were taken to ensure safety for fairgoers, exhibitors, and parents throughout the weekend. Livestock exhibition classes were somewhat smaller, in order to help ensure proper social distancing in the show ring. Hand sanitizing dispensers were displayed through multiple areas of the fairgrounds, bathrooms were cleaned multiple times per day, and masks were encouraged to be worn by fairgoers.
While there were some changes, the livestock shows continued on. Each year the fair kicks off on Thursday with exhibits and equipment being checked in. The Iowa County Fairgrounds are filled with high quality fairhouse and livestock exhibits. Thursday night was the annual gilt show, followed by the Pee-Wee pig show and the Dairy Fitting Clinic Contest in the Open Dairy Barn. Friday morning began with the dairy and market barrow shows, followed in the afternoon with the junior goat show, and Ice Cream treats with Fairest of the Fair Jaynie Rule.
Saturday morning began with the Junior Beef Cattle show, along with the poultry, and sheep show. The livestock auction took place this year up at the grandstand.
Sunday morning kicked off with the annual Beef Extravaganza followed by the Junior Cat Show.
There was also the Master Showman Contest, where the champion show exhibitors of their species competed for top show exhibitor, held in the Schimming Building. Following the Master Showman Contest was the All Dairy Breeds Futurity, followed by Storytime with the Fairest of the Fair.
Exhibits were then released, concluding another year of the Iowa County Fair. Even though it was a different year, Worek stated that it took an army of people to make it happen.
"It takes kids, parents, grandparents, superintendents, judges, vendors, board members, volunteers, sponsors, community members and countless others to pull off a successful event," Worek said. "I think it is safe to say that this year was no exception. There's the saying that 'tough times never last but tough people do.' I believe that again in 2020, our county has proven truth to that."

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