The Howard County Fair Board has announced that the 2020 Mighty Howard County Fair will not be held in Cresco, Iowa this year.
Events and entertainment will be postponed until June 22 to 27, 2021.
“To say we’re disappointed is an understatement.” said Tom Barnes, Executive Secretary of the Board. “But the health and safety of our community is our top priority. Taking into consideration all of the factors the Board had to look at in dealing with the COVID 19 pandemic, this is the right decision.”
The decision by the Fair Board was made after much time and effort was spent consulting with the Association of Iowa Fairs (AIF), the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE), the State of Iowa and Howard County Public Health and Emergency Services.
“The Fair should be a time for celebrating the accomplishments of our area 4-H and FFA exhibitors, highlighting the ethnic and cultural diversity of our Howard County community and a time when fairgoers can get together in a family atmosphere to enjoy all of the sites, tastes and sounds of a great county fair.” Barnes said. “The last thing the Board wants to do is to create an atmosphere of concern and anxiety.”
The decision was not made lightly, not only taking into consideration of the safety of those directly involved with the Fair, but also realizing the impact the Fair has on the community and county.
“The Board does understand this decision could have a negative economic impact on our Fair vendors and local businesses who depend on the Fair for their livelihood,” Barnes noted. “However, the safety of our community is our first and foremost concern.”
The Fair typically draws fairgoers and vendors from Iowa and several other states, with roughly 60 percent of the fairgoers are coming from outside of the community. Current safety guidelines relating to the COVID 19 pandemic that are in place by the State of Iowa and Howard County Community Health makes it an overwhelming task for the Fair Board to ensure the Fair would be a safe and positive event for the community.
“The guidelines in place at this time put a great deal of risk on the Fair Board,” Barnes added. “This pandemic is an unprecedented event for our generations. By working together, we will get through it. We need to use what we have learned from this pandemic to better our lives.” Barnes said. “The Fair will back in 2021, stronger than ever.”