By Anna Jauhola
The Kittson County Fair Board decided last week to cancel this year’s fair, due to issues regarding COVID-19, the virus caused by the novel coronavirus.
“The decision to cancel this year’s fair was not made lightly as it impacts so many inviduals and businesses in the county,” said Taylor Lindegard, board president, in a press release from Thursday, May 7. “Yet, we believe it’s the right decision for all involved.”
Numerous other counties in Minnesota and in neighboring North Dakota have also decided to cancel their annual fairs. Marshall, Polk and Pennington counties in Minnesota have canceled their fairs and Pembina County, N.D., canceled its fair in Hamilton.
The press release states the fair cannot safely happen for the public with the COVID-19 restrictions put in place, such as social distancing and disinfecting requirements.
“Our priority as a board is the safety of the people,” the release states. “It may seem early to make the decision to cancel now, but the reality is, even if some restrictions are lifted, fairs and festivals will be the last permitted to open.”
The board has confirmed its vendors and entertainers have agreed to hold deposits and honor contracts for the 2021 Kittson County Fair.
No dates have been locked in for next year, as that will depend on dates the entertainment and vendors have available, according to the release.
Although the fair will not take place this year, the board will still sell raffle tickets for three grocery dashes worth up to $500 each. The winner of this raffle can choose which of Kittson County’s grocery stores to use it – Farmers Store in Hallock, J&S Foods in Lancaster, Bronson Market in Lake Bronson, or Supermarket Foods in Karlstad.
You can purchase a ticket from any fair board member. The winner will be drawn on Sunday, July 12.
Also on Thursday, May 7, the University of Minnesota Extension Kittson County office announced it will work with 4-H youth in the county to create a showcase day later in the summer.
“Even with the county fair’s cancellation, Minnesota 4-H Youth Development is committed to providing a high-quality showcase experience at both the county and state levels laster this summer,” according to a release from Extension. “We are already working together with the Kittson County Fair Board to establish a plan for that opportunity.”
Extension asks all 4-Hers to keep moving forward on projects and activities, noting that enrollment and animal identifications are due by June 1 to participate in showcases.
By Anna Jauhola