PONTIAC – For the exhibitors and volunteers of the Livingston County Ag Fair, July just won’t feel right as the 2020 fair has been cancelled.
Board members made the difficult decision this week with the biggest reasons being a lack of health permits granted due to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 and the nearly impossible task of obtaining a liability policy during these times.
“There are other reasons but those two are the biggest ones pretty much restricting almost all county fairs from doing it,” Livingston County Ag Fair co-vice president Jesse Mackinson said.
The fair still wants to help kids sell their auction animals by holding an event in July but the details are still being worked out. With many locker plants booked solid for months, trying to get these animals to a packing plant would be difficult.
“The county fair does have two dates at our local butcher shop to help take care of that, so we are going to still try and have our auction to help the kids,” Mackinson noted.
According to Mackinson, some of the kids rely on the auction to prepare for the next calendar year. Fair board members are also not giving up on the possibility of holding a livestock show possibly in August or September. Details will have to be worked out with health officials.
“We are not ruling anything out but we are not making any promises either.”
Mackinson admits there is still plenty to discuss, research and pursue regarding the fair. Any show that is held would likely be a one species per day situation. It all depends on what the state will allow with social distancing along with other rules and regulations.
Earlier this week, University of Illinois Extension announced plans to cancel or move all Extension activities, including the 4-H show, to a virtual format. Specifics on uploading virtual exhibits is expected to be posted soon for 4-H members. The different virtual exhibits will include: general projects, visual arts, livestock, public presentations and food demonstrations.