Allamakee County Fair will take place this year, although with modifications

Fair Board, ISU Extension finalizing plans with mitigation guidelines in mind for early July event

Following a lengthy meeting Wednesday, June 3, the Allamakee County Fair Board has made the decision to continue plans to host the 2020 Allamakee County Fair, but in a modified format due to the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigation guidelines put in place as a result of that virus. The board sought input from the Allamakee County Public Health Department, Allamakee County Emergency Management and a variety of City and County officials in making the decision, working in conjunction with the Iowa State University (ISU) Extension Allamakee County office to help make the decision on whether to proceed with the annual event and now working on details of just what a modified version of the Allamakee County Fair will entail.

The event is still being planned for its originally scheduled timeframe of the first full week of July - ultimately wrapping up Sunday, July 12, but the number of days involving Fair events during that week remains in the planning process. Schedule details will be released as soon as they become finalized.

Grandstand entertainment is being planned to consist of the Tractor Pull, ATV/UTV Event and Tough Truck competitions, with the headlining musical act “Slippery When Wet” and the Rodeo event both being canceled for sure at this point. Grandstand seating for those three events will be at 50% capacity, with social distancing recommended, according to current mitigation measures in place regarding COVID-19.

There will also be no midway carnival this year, nor 4-H or Fair food stands due to regulations and licensing matters, but the Fair Board is currently working to coordinate licensed food truck vendors to fill that food void. At this point, the Pavilion will not be used for the traditional business booths as in years past.

Free entertainment being provided this year will feature the magic and balloon creations of Waukon native Jonathan May, as well as a caricaturist. There will be no face painting this year.

ISU Allamakee County Extension will be implementing guidelines during livestock shows and is working on preparing a final show schedule to continue to showcase the work of local youth. Those 4-H and FFA youth activities will occur with specific guidelines implemented, according to mitigation restrictions, with efforts and resources shifted to a limited audience for “Show and Go” livestock exhibition and contact-free Static, Clothing and Communication Exhibit Judging.

“The health and safety of our 4-H members, families, volunteers, staff and animals are the primary concern in making this decision,” Extension officials explained. “Allamakee County Extension and Outreach must follow the guidance of Allamakee County Public Health and Iowa 4-H.”

For this year a Premium Auction will take the place of the traditional Livestock Auction typically held the last day of the Fair. Instead, 4-H’ers will be selling their market animals privately. If members of the public would like to purchase a market animal, they should contact the Extension Office to be added to a list of potential buyers.

Extension officials say that entry forms are being mailed out to project participants and updates regarding the Fair schedule and classes will be shared in the Allamakee County 4-H June newsletter, in addition to being made public through other venues. Additional questions can be addressed by emailing or by calling 563-568-6345.

There are still plans to crown an Allamakee County Fair Queen at this point, with that coronation schedule yet to be determined as there will be no Youth Showcase this year. Additional information about this year’s Fair Queen Contest, including a registration form, can be found on Page 18 of this week’s edition of The Standard.

Registration and other information is also currently available on the Allamakee County Fair website,, or the Allamakee County Fair Facebook page. Anyone who may have more questions about the Fair Queen Contest is asked to contact McKayla Rethamel at 563-794-0707.

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