Purdue Extension announced on Friday that county 4-H fairs can happen in July if certain criteria are met. As part of Governor Holcomb’s “Back on Track Indiana” plan to safely reopen the state, conventions, sports events, fairs, and festivals may resume July 4th as part of Stage 5.
Social distancing is one of the criteria and that begs the question, “How do you keep six-foot separation between people at a county fair?”
That’s the question from Director of Purdue Extension Jason Henderson. He says there are other requirements that revolve around hygiene and disinfecting, but social distancing will be the most difficult for county 4-H boards to figure out.
“That means you have to change pattern flows, you have to change penning, and just a lot of queuing of various different events. So, they’re going to have to look different in order to comply with those guidelines.”
What about the rides, games, and carnival aspects of the fair?
“So, I’ve had some additional conversations with them and they’re putting together their plans on what it would look like for a carnival or other things,” Henderson told HAT. “It’s going to look different for them too because they’re going to have to comply with these additional social distancing guidelines that have to be met.”
Henderson says one challenge is that each county will be in a different position. The “Back on Track” plan allows for different counties to be in different stages given their situation.
“What happens in one county will be different in another county and so we’ve got to help them by putting together a process that they can walk through and think about the decisions to make the best decision for their county. Whether that is doing virtual demonstrations only, or if it’s virtual demonstrations with in-person demonstrations as well.”
Henderson says other Extension programs, like farm field days, can now also take place under the same types of guidelines.