By LeAnn R. Ralph
MENOMONIE — The Dunn County Fair Board has established modified rules and procedures for this year’s fair because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Dunn County Fair, scheduled for July 21 through July 25, will not be open to public.
All exhibitors at the fair, and their immediate family, must wear face coverings and must sign in and provide contact information.
Immediate family refers to family members living in the same household.
No potluck meals will be allowed, and there will be no food stands at the fairgrounds. Exhibitors and their family members must bring their own lunches.
Exhibitors were required to enter using FairEntry, which opened June 15 and closed June 29. No paper entries were accepted.
The Dunn County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution at the May 20 meeting ordering the Dunn County Fair to modify the normal operation of the fair scheduled for July 22 through July 26.
According to the resolution, “Dunn County Board of Supervisors hereby order that the 2020 Dunn County Fair shall consist only of 4-H and other youth-group related activities that can be conducted remotely; that all other elements of the Fair, including but not limited to events that take place in the grandstand, the carnival, the food court, food trucks and booths, the beer gardens, the free stage, the display and contest booths, and use of the commercial building, and all and any such activities that involve groups of people gathering in close proximity, shall not take place; and that no activity associated with the County Fair shall be open to the general public.”
According to a statement on the Dunn County Fair’s website: “Our hearts are heavy knowing we cannot gather for our annual celebration as we have during the past 134 years, but now and always, the health and safety of our guests, participants and community is our highest priority,” said Deb Gotlibson, President of the Dunn County Fair Board. “Our mission is to provide an entertaining and educational event for people of all ages; we strive to do so in a safe and secure environment. We have been communicating with our county officials, Wisconsin Association of Fairs, International Association of Fairs and Expositions and others in the fair industry for the most current COVID-19 information available. We thank you for your understanding.”
No group classes will be held for the animal exhibits at the Dunn County Fair, and there will be no Little Britches Show this year.
Entry tags will not be printed for animal projects.
The judging schedule will be poultry on Tuesday; rabbits on Wednesday; dairy, llamas, cavies, small pets and cats on Thursday; beef, goats and sheep on Friday; swine on Saturday.
Times will be determined after the entries have been reviewed.
On show day, exhibitors will be required to have their paperwork ready before unloading their animals.
After signing in and providing contact information, exhibitors will be given wrist band before they unload their animals.
Animals that have arrived for judging must be tied to trailers or be in temporary pens or cages provided by the exhibitors.
Animals must be washed before they arrive at the fairgrounds.
Exhibitors will only be allowed to wash off their animal if it became dirty in the trailer.
The outside show ring under the oak tree will be used for larger species, and the small animal barn will be used for poultry, rabbits, cavies, small pets and cats.
After exhibitors have unloaded their animals, they must stay by their trailer or pen, and they must social distance from other exhibitors and families.
After the animals are judged, all exhibitors are required to load all bedding, feed and garbage and take it home with them.
Exhibitors are asked to leave the show grounds as soon as they have shown their animal and have cleaned up their areas.
The swine show is “terminal,” and all animals at the fairgrounds must go to slaughter.
This year’s carcass clinic is cancelled.
All dog events for the 2020 Dunn County Fair are cancelled.
Exhibitors are encouraged to enter their exhibits under Animal and Veterinary Science in case the dog show planned for this fall is cancelled.
All horse events for the 2020 Dunn County fair are cancelled.
Exhibitors are encouraged to enter their exhibits under Animal and Veterinary Science.
This year’s meat animal auction is cancelled.
Information on marketing and selling meat animals privately is available for project members.
Exhibitors are allowed to keep the meat for their own families.
The Meat Animal Project coordinators and the fair board are working with processors for delivery of the animals.
Animals will go directly from the fair to the meat processors.
The small animal auction also is cancelled.
Entry tags will be e-mailed to exhibitors for other exhibits the week of July 6, such as arts and crafts, photography, ceramics, crops and garden produce.
Face coverings are required for all exhibitors with projects, and only family members who live in the same household will be allowed at the fairgrounds or in the exhibit building to drop off or pick up items.
Exhibits must be dropped off on the west end of the building, and the tentative schedule for drop-off is Monday, July 20, noon to 5 p.m., and Tuesday, July 21, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Exhibitors must remain in their vehicles and enter the exhibit hall one family at a time.
Fair superintendents and volunteers will accept the entries from exhibitors directly inside the door.
Exhibitors and their family members must sign in, provide contact information and then leave the fairgrounds immediately.
After the exhibits have been checked in, the exhibits will be moved to tables, where they will be sorted and prepared for judging.
Only fair superintendents, volunteers, fair staff and judges will be allowed inside the exhibit building.
There will be no face-to-face or conference judging.
After the judging is completed, exhibitors will return to the fairgrounds to pick up their exhibits, tentatively scheduled for July 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Fairest of the Fair Contest also is cancelled for this year.
The 2019 Dunn County Fairest of the Fair was Samantha Vold, daughter of Luke and Hollie Helminski, and a graduate of Menomonie High School.
Vold was an active member of the FFA. She is employed at Wayne Pallets as the office and OSHA manager.
The 2018 Dunn County Fairest of the Fair was Maria Heltne, a 2017 graduate of Elk Mound High School and a member of the Elk Meadow 4-H Club.
Heltne is attending St. Cloud State University majoring in communication sciences and disorders.
She also has served as a 4-H Ambassador.
The 2017 Dunn County Fairest of the Fair was Lexie Grossbier, a 2013 graduate of Elk Mound High School and a member of the Elk Meadow 4-H Club.
Grossbier attended the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, majoring in psychology with a double minor in leadership and family social science.