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This year’s Fair has been reduced to 4H, FFA exhibits

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HARTINGTON — The stripped down version of the Cedar County Fair begins this week.

Cedar County Ag Society President Greg Heine said last month all open class competition, and all entertainment was being cancelled this year due to coronavirus.

The Trinity Lutheran Lunch Stand and the 4H Food Stand will also be closed this year and there will be no midway.

The 4H livestock and small animal shows will go on, however.

Cedar County Extension Educator Jackie Steffen said the shows will feature a “show and go” format.

No animals will be left on the grounds over night. The exhibitor will bring their animals to the fairgrounds prior to each event, show the animal, then load it back up and take it home, Steffen said.

There won’t be a formal awards program, either, and all shows have been condensed into three days Thursday through Saturday.

Steffen said the Extension Office will be following a strict health plan that had to first be approved by the Northeast Neb. Public Health Dept.

When exhibitors, judges and volunteers check in, they will have their temperatures taken.

Ag Society members and 4H families will be around to sanitize the buildings and make sure proper social distancing is observed.

Steffen said this year’s fair will have fewer exhibitors than in past years because there was so much uncertainty as to whether there would even be a fair.

She expects the crowds to be made up mostly of family and friends, but anyone can attend the 4H shows, she said.

The 4H static building will also be open and filled with static exhibits. Student art will also be on display, but these two areas will only be open during hours that correspond with 4H livestock shows.

Steffen said she expects quite a few gardening entries this year since many local families turned to gardening when the pandemic shut down Nebraska schools.

The livestock shows will be held in the new show arena, which was constructed during the spring and early summer. Steffen said the small animal show may also be held in the same area, since the small animal building is too small to practice proper social distancing.