DARLINGTON — A week after announcing the Lafayette County Fair was a go, the Fair Committee announced June 18 that many restrictions will be in place.
The fair, which is to be held July 15-19, is the only county in southwestern Wisconsin still planning to hold its fair, other than Iowa County to be held over Labor Day weekend. Green, Grant, Dane, Rock, Richland and Crawford counties in Wisconsin have all canceled their 2020 summer fair festivals in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The Lafayette County Fair will still hold small and large animal judging, as well as food and cake judging. There also will be a livestock auction, floral exhibits and racing.
However, the carnival will not be held, nor will the Fairest of the Fair program, dog show and archery.
“Fair staff, superintendents and UW-Extension thought it was best to cancel the events for this year,” the committee wrote in a press release.
Admission will be free due to the amount of closures within the fair. Local food vendors will still be running, like the Optimist Club and the Farm Bureau, according to Kari Ruf, fair manager. Visitors will be required to sign a COVID-19 waiver as well, Ruf said.
There will be no Lafayette County sponsored grandstand activities, though the Lafayette County Speedway group will hold scheduled races July 17 and 18. There may also be the Sunday evening show for the Gauntlet, Combine Derby, Crash Cars and Trailers races through a private group.
“There’s a lot still up in the air,” Ruf said.
The committee, which includes Eric Stauffacher, Donna Flannery, Larry Ludlum, John Reichling, Andy Schilling and Fair Manager Kari Ruf, said there would be more updates leading up to the fair. Ruf said that auction details and updates on items related to exhibitions would be released by the weekend.
“We realize that there are still questions about departments, judging, fees, schedules and so much more. Ultimately, these decisions were voted on by the full fair committee with input from the public, county lawyer, health department, Livestock Committee and most importantly our insurance company,” the committee wrote. “This is an evolving situation, and we thank you for your patience and support. As soon as we know more specifics, we will email our exhibitors and post to our website and Facebook page.”