Fair goes on, but no carnival rides this year

Tribune-Star/Joseph C. GarzaA scaled-down fair: Jenny Hamilton, marketing and events manager for the Vigo County Fair, on Wednesday talks about the events that have been planned for the 2020 fair at the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds. This year's fair this year will be three days -- July 10 through July 12 -- and will not include rides or a midway.

Three days of public events – but no carnival rides or midway – are the plan July for the 2020 Vigo County Fair, which will be July 10-12.

The Wabash Valley Fair Association on Wednesday announced changes to the traditional summer fair experience with a “reduced version of our normal fair” that does include three grandstand events.

“We felt like this is a great compromise to be able to still host some events outdoors but still be able to have social distancing,” said Jenny Hamilton, event and marketing coordinator for the Vigo County Fair.

A truck and tractor pull is scheduled for Friday, July 10.

A country music concert on Saturday, July 11, will feature a performance by Dylan Snider, a Terre Haute native named “Country Music's Next Rising Star” by Billboard magazine.

The World of Outlaws sprint car race is set for Sunday, July 12.

Ticket prices and availability will be announced on the fair's Facebook page, and additional information about the fair and virtual 4-H shows will be posted at www.vigofair.com.

Food sales will be available for those events, Hamilton said, and the fair grandstands have enough seating capacity so that social distancing protocols can be followed.

Drew Exposition, the carnival company that has provided midway games and attractions for decades at the fairgrounds, has withdrawn from its summer schedule.

The fair board met Tuesday evening to work out its plans for the upcoming fair. Eager to maintain the annual tradition, but while being socially responsible, the board voted to offer the three-day schedule.

“We chose to do a three-day weekend event so that come that Monday morning, we can focus our efforts on helping the local 4-H participants exhibit their projects without the public,” Hamilton said. “We will be working closely with the Vigo County Health Department and Vigo County Commissioners to make sure all grandstand events are safe and enjoyable.”

Some type of livestock shows will be offered for 4-H participants, she said, but exhibit halls will not be open for youths or adults.

“We're going to try to keep everything outside,” Hamilton said.

Planning the annual fair is usually a year-long process, she said, so adapting to the shortened version has been a challenge. Having outdoor events will hopefully attract the public, she said.

“I think that people are ready to get out and if we do it safely, we are expecting a good-size crowd, for the concert especially,” Hamilton said. “I hope people will see we are doing it the right way.”

Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or at lisa.trigg@tribstar.com. Follow her on Twitter at TribStarLisa.

Lisa Trigg has been a reporter at the Tribune-Star since 2009. With more than 30 years of newspaper experience, she now covers general news with a focus on crime and courts.

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