Colorado State Fair Announces "Reimagined" Event

( )

The Colorado State Fair announced a “reimagined” 2020 event in light of the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis. The Colorado State Fair Board of Authority voted on Tuesday to modify activities during the 2020 Colorado State Fair, scheduled for Aug. 28 through Sept. 7.

“Faced with an incredibly difficult decision, and with a deep understanding of its far-reaching impact, the board carefully considered state guidance that is being developed for outdoor events and potential health risk to our State Fair visitors, competitors and vendors before voting,” said State Fair Board Chair Paul Youngs in a release.

A number of state fair activities will move forward this summer with new guidelines. Activities in consideration include the Junior Livestock Show and Sale, FFA Heifer Wrangle, Catch-a-Calf, 4-H Horse Show, 4-H Dog Show, 4-H Rocketry and 4-H Static Exhibits as well as limited food and vendor booths, a limited carnival presence and virtual competitive exhibits, a release said.

This is not the first time the Colorado State Fair has been modified due to extraordinary circumstances, fair organizers said. In 1917, the property was used as a training facility for the Army National Guard during World War I. Since April 22, the fairgrounds have served as a drive-through COVID-19 testing site for Pueblo County. 

“More than anything, the Colorado State Fair exists to serve the people of Colorado and beyond,” said General Manager Scott Stoller in a release. “This mission can take on many forms. This year, it means managing smaller groups of people on the fairground property, maintaining social distancing, and providing it for use as a testing site. We are still working hard to honor the work our Colorado 4-H and FFA youth have invested in preparing for this year’s fair.”

The Colorado State Fair is a division of the Colorado Department of Agriculture, showcasing Colorado agriculture, industry and culture. Over 466,000 people attended last year’s event.

“We take our responsibility to the safety of our State Fair patrons and participants very seriously,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg in a release. “The advice and recommendations from Pueblo County Health and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, including new State guidance on outdoor events, were a key part of this lengthy and careful decision-making process.”

More information and details will be announced soon.

Last week, the Iowa State Fair and Illinois State Fair were canceled and the Missouri State Fair announced its show will go on.

Here's an updated map of the state fair cancellations.

More from Farm Journal:

Iowa State Fair Cancels for First Time Since World War II

State Fair Cancellations Shatter Dreams Across the Country

Illinois State Fair Cancels, Offers Youth Show in September

Overhe(a)rd: Livestock Show Cancellations & Lessons Learned

Indiana State Fair Canceled, Plans for Modified Youth Livestock Show

10 Realities Fairs Must Face Due to COVID-19