Grant County Fair organizers said they are moving forward with a spaced-out, modified exposition next month, scheduled Aug. 7-15, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Grant County Fair Manager Mindy Winegar said the fair falls under Gov. Kate Brown’s guidelines as a “Venue and Event Operator,” which allows the fairgrounds to have 250 people.

Winegar said the fair could separate the venues as well.

“We could have 250 people at the pavilion and heritage barn, and then we could have 250 people at the rodeo grounds,” Winegar said. “We just have to make sure that it’s completely separated.”

Winegar said the 250 cap includes volunteers, employees and fairgoers.

“I won’t be able to have more than 250 bodies at a venue,” she said.

She said the fair would not have food vendors, rides or the usual entertainment.

She said she has received a permit from the governor’s office to hold a parade Aug. 15, which will begin at 11 a.m. at Grant Union High School and end up at Napa Autoparts.

Winegar said the activities at this year’s fair dwindled to team branding, dog trials and 4-H and FFA youth livestock and auctions.

She said team branding and dog trials kick-off at the outdoor arena Aug. 14 at 1 p.m.

She said she does not have the schedule yet, but she will post it to grantcountyoregon.net.

“Our priority is to make sure that 4-H and FFA can put on their show and that the youth can have their options,” she said.

Winegar said, for some of the 4-H and FFA kids, selling their livestock could mean the difference between whether they play a sport or buy school clothes in the fall.

“It can be devastating to some families,” she said.

Bonni Booth, 4-H/SNAP-Ed Program coordinator for Grant County Oregon State University Extension Office, said they are following Oregon Health Authority guidelines for 4-H and FFA activities, which were updated July 17.

Booth said the activities will be closed to the public, and the youths will be in “stable” groups of 10. Each will be given a yet-to-be-announced number of guest passes, and guests will be asked to wear color-coded bracelets that will be closely monitored.

The 4-H activities will be held at Keerins Hall, and the youth will submit static exhibits Aug. 3-4 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. by appointment only. She said the kids can pick up their exhibits on Aug. 7 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. by appointment only as well.

The modified livestock shows, closed to the public, kick off Aug. 9 with lamb weigh-in and showmanship. Lamb market and goat weigh-in will be Aug. 10, small animal, beef weigh-in and showmanship will be Aug. 11, swine weigh-in and showmanship will be Aug. 12 and swine market will be Aug. 13, Booth said.

Keerins Hall will be limited to one-way foot traffic, and contact information for contact tracing will be taken. Additional hand-washing stations will be brought in, and social distance monitors will ensure the audience is maintaining appropriate distance and wearing face masks indoors, Booth said.

Reporter

Steven Mitchell is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. Contact him at steven@bmeagle.com or 541-575-0710.

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