What to expect at the 2020 Grundy County Fair

Robert Maharry
The Grundy Register

GRUNDY CENTER- The Grundy County Fair, like most everything else in 2020, is going to look a little different when it kicks off next week. Hand washing stations will be situated around the fairgrounds, social distancing and masks will be encouraged and bleacher seating will be limited. During a conversation with The Grundy Register on Monday afternoon, Fair Board President Jared Gutknecht went in-depth on what will change and what will be expected of both spectators and participants.


“Basically, we’re just hoping everybody keeps a cognitive notice of who’s around them to keep social distancing, and just keep everybody cleaner, eyes, hands and mouth,” he said.


The sweet corn feed will still go on as planned, but the servers will not husk the corn as in past years, and butter, salt and pepper will all be single served. Two food vendors are planning to set up shop at the fair in addition to the concession stand.


Judging for the animal shows and exhibits will be tweaked to allow for more social distancing, with critiques focusing more on written comments than face-to-face interaction. The only usual attractions that won’t be available at all in 2020 are the inflatables and the working exhibits, but as Gutknecht put it, they’ll be “back with a vengeance” next summer.


Gutknecht does not plan to have officials aggressively police behavior at the fair but hopes that those who attend are cognizant of social distancing and other state and federal recommendations aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.


Entertainment catered toward older audiences is still scheduled to go on as planned for next weekend, with the 80s cover band Gimikk playing Friday night, popular Iowa-based country singer Cody Hicks playing Saturday night and Hurling Hatchet competitive axe throwing set for Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. A fireworks show will wrap up the festivities on Saturday night.


Although most of the town festivals in Grundy County (along with the State Fair) have either been postponed or cancelled due to the pandemic, Gutknecht and his board felt it was important to hold a county fair for the kids who spend the entire year preparing for it.


“I have kids that are starting in the Clover Kids, so the fair is kind of how they regulate the year. There’s four major things in their lives, and that’s their birthday, county fair, state fair and Christmas,” he said. “I wanted it to be open to the public and (to make sure) that the Clover Kids still had an opportunity to show off their events… They’re as proud as anybody.”


He added that he wants the fair to be the event to show the county that it can still be done.


“This is our county. We’re proud of it and the people in it,” he said. “We’re still going to abide by the laws. We’re not trying to fight the system, but we’re proud of our county… It’s going to be fun. The campground is going to be full, and everyone’s looking to have a good time.”


For a full schedule of events, see the advertisement located on page 2 of this week’s Grundy Register.


The Grundy Register

601 G. Avenue - P.O. Box 245
Grundy Center, IA 50638
Telephone: 1-319-824-6958
Fax: 1-800-340-0805

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