GENEVA — Entertainment activities associated with the annual Fillmore County Fair here will fall by the wayside for 2020, one more consequence of continuing concerns over the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19.
The Fillmore County Agricultural Society, which sponsors the fair each year, announced the decision to shelve the activities in a social media release.
Fair board members consulted at length with health officials before making the decision. As is the case in all other Tribland counties, the Fillmore County Fair is a mainstay of summer social life in Geneva and the surrounding communities.
The decision boiled down to public health and concern for the potential negative ramifications of letting the fair go forward as scheduled July 8-13, the Ag Society said.
“With heavy hearts after discussion within our group and discussion with community members, along with federal, state, and surrounding area officials, the Fillmore County Agricultural Society regretfully reports that the entertainment activities scheduled for the 2020 Fillmore County Fair will be postponed until 2021,” the ag society announced. “With the COVID-19 virus still very prevalent throughout the state of Nebraska, and few guidelines to offer guidance to protect not only our own county communities, but the well-being of people of all ages who would be potential visitors to this great annual event, the board feels an inadequacy to provide safety and protection for all who would attend.”
Decisions about 4-H and FFA activities associated with the fair remain pending and should be known throughout Nebraska by June 1, the Ag Society said.
“The Ag Society will do as needed to assist and protect these children as they compete in whatever direction the state advises,” the news release stated.
The Fillmore County Fair is known for robust entertainment offerings that in past years have included not only midway amusements but also concerts, demolition derbies, rodeo events and other crowd-pleasers. This year’s fair features were to have included shows by country music artist Ned LeDoux and the country-rock band SwitchBak on July 10.
“The Fillmore County Fair’s annual goal has been to present a fair that would attract people of all ages and abilities,” the Ag Society said. “Sadly, there is no protection we could offer that would create a dome of protection over all of those who might attend or be among the many that volunteer at this great event. Keeping our communities safe and moving forward to returns to school, jobs and life going forward must be all of our first priorities.
Organizers will focus on being back with a bang next summer, the Ag Society said.
“Our goal going forward is to plan for a fantastic fair in 2021 with even more offerings. We look forward to celebrating with everyone in 2021. While saddened, we feel much more secure knowing the public will have some protection from this virus, by our decision. We ask for your understanding, and we pray that in doing this, all people may be protected in as much as possible from this potentially deadly virus.”