Boone County officials have canceled the Boone County 4-H Fair.
Boone County commissioners, county health officials and 4-H organizers met late July 16 to discuss whether to continue with the fair, which was scheduled to begin July 18, or cancel the event.
“When the meeting was done, they had decided it was in the best interest all people – adults and children – to not have the fair because of the danger of the virus being spread,” President of the Boone County Commissioners Board Don Lawson said.
Initially, the fair had eleven contests that were will still be held – such as the robotics demo, achievement program and the 4-H fashion revue for sewing and wearable arts. But the fair had canceled all other events normally scheduled, including the county queen contest, to ensure the health and safety of 4-H members.
The fair was to implement a number of mitigation strategies during the event, Niki Hollingsworth, treasurer of the Boone County 4-H Inc. council and board, said. Livestock were to arrive and leave on the same day, instead of staying for the week. Closed judging was to be employed, meaning judges would determine project placements without participants present. And all attendees and participants were to be screened before entering the fair by answering a questionnaire.
Boone County has reported 50 deaths, as of press time. All but five of the deaths have occurred in long-term care facilities. Lawson said the decision to cancel the fair was made “because our numbers are increasing slightly, as far as positives this week, and where are we at in that whole movement from week to week.”
Lawson said another consideration was the recent community spread of the new coronavirus. In the beginning months of the pandemic, most positive cases in the county were confined to long-term care facilities. Now, data from the Boone County Health Dept. shows an uptick in cases for residents whom do not live in such facilities in recent weeks.
Lawson said officials canceled the fair because it was “best to cancel it to save lives.”