The same day the Indiana State Fair was called off, Jasper County officials announced their Fair, scheduled for July 25th to August 1st, would go on.
“We had a meeting Thursday evening with the commissioner and the Health Department and they gave us their blessing,” said Jasper County Fair Board President Vickie Bozell during a recent interview with a local radio station last week. “We put together a set of guidelines and we have contacted our carnival and our food vendors to share what we expect them to do.”
Several changes will be seen at the Fair in 2020, so long as Indiana meets the requirements for Stage 5. Carnival vendors will be sanitizing rides after each rider and have sanitizer throughout the carnival. Social distancing will be implemented at eating areas and encouraged throughout the event, with vendors installing Plexiglas over serving windows and servicing customers through to-go packages for things like condiments rather than out of communal jars.
“There’s some things to work out, but at least we have a plan, a plan of attack,” Bozell said of the changes during the interview. Several annual events, like the Queen pageant, are still being worked out among organizers.
The soonest Indiana can reach Stage 5 is July 4th.
“We may have to revisit this at a later date, but we’re excited we get to have a Jasper County Fair, as long as we reach Stage 5.” Bozell said.
Governor Holcomb’s reopening plan greatly from that of Illinois, allowing for gatherings of up to 250 people with stadiums reopening at 50% capacity in Stage 4.
Stage 5 allows for other large facilities, fairs, and festivals, full capacity at retail restaurants, and restrictions lifted at amusement and water parks. Stage 5 in Illinois is entirely dependent on a cure for COVID-19. Indiana’s reopening plan does not mention the word ‘cure’ or ‘vaccine’ once in the 33-page “Back on Track Indiana” plan.
Neighboring Lake and Newton County have already canceled their fairs for 2020 due to COVID-19.