Colorado State Fair announces reimagined 2020 event
PUEBLO, Colo. — In consideration of the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis, the Colorado State Fair Board of Authority recently voted to modify activities during the 2020 State Fair, scheduled for Aug. 28-Sept. 7.
“Faced with an incredibly difficult decision, and with a deep understanding of its far-reaching impact, the board carefully considered state guidance that is being developed for outdoor events and potential health risk to our State Fair visitors, competitors and vendors before voting,” said State Fair Board Chair Paul Youngs.
The board did determine that a number of State Fair activities will move forward this summer with new guidelines in place. Activities being considered include the Junior Livestock Show and Sale, FFA Heifer Wrangle, Catch-a-Calf, 4-H Horse Show, 4-H Dog Show, 4-H Rocketry, and 4-H Static Exhibits as well as limited food and vendor booths, a limited carnival presence and virtual competitive exhibits. More information and details about activities taking place will be announced soon.
A division of the Colorado Department of Agriculture, the annual state fair showcases Colorado agriculture, industry and culture for 11 days in late August through Labor Day. More than 466,000 people attended last year’s event.
“We take our responsibility to the safety of our state fair patrons and participants very seriously,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg. “The advice and recommendations from Pueblo County Health and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, including new state guidance on outdoor events, were a key part of this lengthy and careful decision making process.”
This is not the first time the Colorado State Fair has been modified due to extraordinary circumstances. In 1917, the state fairground property was used as “Camp Carlson,” with the horse stables and open space serving as a training facility for the Army National Guard during World War I. Since April 22, 2020, the grounds have been operating as a drive-through COVID-19 testing site for Pueblo County. The state fair’s rich history was recently highlighted in an episode of “Colorado Experience” on Rocky Mountain PBS.
“More than anything, the Colorado State Fair exists to serve the people of Colorado and beyond,” said General Manager Scott Stoller. “This mission can take on many forms. This year, it means managing smaller groups of people on the fairground property, maintaining social distancing, and providing it for use as a testing site. We are still working hard to honor the work our Colorado 4-H and FFA youth have invested in preparing for this year’s fair.”
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