Chase County Fair cancelled for this year
During the Chase County Fair (CCF) board meeting last week, board members unanimously made the excruciating decision to cancel the 2020 CCF, perhaps for the first time ever in its history.
“We want to let the public know that we held out as long as we could in hopes that we would be able to have all of our events, but it became unrealistic under the current Directed Health Measures to guarantee public safety,” the board said in a press release posted on its website.
During a phone call with county commissioners July 14, health officials indicated beer gardens are not allowed under Phase 3 of the governor’s health directives. They indicated the beer sales at the concerts fell within the beer garden definition.
Health officials also indicated standing at the concerts would not be allowed.
Under those stipulations, fair board members expressed they could not jeopardize the financial future of the fair. If they went ahead with the concerts and then they were shut down, the financial impact would have been devastating to the fair.
Since the carnival had already canceled, fair board members felt it was the right decision to cancel all fair events.
The decision of holding 4-H/FFA activities was left to those organizations.
Oxford resigns from board
At the July 14 commissioner meeting, Fair Board President Chad Oxford resigned from the board.
Oxford said he had been considering the move for some time.
He said he has some personal projects that are taking a lot of his time and felt he needed to be focusing more on them.
He said the COVID-19 issues with the fair, and the stress it has created, were also factors in his decision to resign now.
Ticket refunds coming
Full refunds will be issued to any and all ticket purchases.
Board member Jakob Burke, who is in charge of ticketing, advertising and marketing, said all ticket transactions at this point were debit or credit, so refunds will be drafted back to those accounts.
“There weren’t any cash sales yet,” he added.
At the time the cancellation was announced, Friday and Saturday night entertainers Trace Adkins, Kylie Frey, Aaron Watson and Hardy were still planning on being in Imperial for the fair.
While it was a tough decision, the board feels it was the right one.
“But with everything that is happening and what was laid out for us we feel that we’ve made the right decision on everything,” Burke said.
Now that the fair has been cancelled, board members said they will shift their focus to making the 2021 fair another great fair.
4-H/FFA events to be held
At this time, 4-H and FFA events will still happen.
“4-H and FFA events will continue as scheduled,” said Extension Educator Debbie Kuenning of the Chase County Extension Office.
The plan as of Wednesday morning is to have the events on the same days as previously scheduled, with dogs, rabbits and poultry on Aug. 10, sheep and swine on Aug. 12, beef on Aug. 13 and the livestock auction on Aug. 14.
However, “due to COVID-19, the shows will be open to 4-H and FFA families only.”
Kuenning said at this point they aren’t sure if there will be a round robin show.
She added that the livestock sale will be open to all buyers.