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’4-H only’ classes to be offered at 2020 Kiowa County Fair

Hannah Brown
Special to the Signal
Addi Heinson poses with her pigs from a previous fair. Heinson will show pigs, a steer, and enter photographs this year at a limited 2020 Kiowa County Fair in Greensburg.

After much debate, the Kiowa County Fair will happen in July with a reduced schedule due to COVID-19. Classes will be available for 4-H only participation.

“We are very grateful our 4-Hers get to participate in the fair this year,” said Wade Reh, Kiowa County Extension Agent.

This year’s fair will look much different than it has in past years. There will be no open-class exhibits this year, which means only kids enrolled in 4-H will be able to bring their indoor exhibits such as arts and crafts, photography, woodworking, etc. or animals to show. In addition to the loss of open class presentations, free meals donated by local businesses, turtle races, the pedal pull, and ranch rodeo have been canceled.

“I was really hoping that we could boost our open class exhibits this year. However, I feel it was absolutely the right decision,” said Jean McKinney, Fair Board member and an avid open class exhibitor. “Kiowa County has done a fabulous job of keeping this infection to a minimum. It would be terrible if the fair caused a spike in illnesses.”

One thing that will go on as it has in the past is the premium auction, where businesses can buy a 4-Hers animal, but don’t receive the animal. Essentially, business owners are donating money to help 4-Hers cover the cost of raising their animals. Businesses may also support 4-Hers by contributing added money to an exhibitors fair check, another way to help cover expenses of projects.

“I think it’s appropriate that we mourn the loss of our traditional fair. It’s hard to give up one more thing, especially one that drives so much from the local community,” said Reh.

Due to continued COVID-19 uncertainty, these plans could be altered. Call the Kiowa County Extension office at (620) 723-2156 for with questions or details.