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La Plata County Fair will have a different format this year, but the same spirit

This pandemic has resulted in many ups and downs this year; however, I have been reflecting on how La Plata County 4-H and I have a lot to be grateful for.

The support that we receive from our community is heartwarming. Our 4-H youths always love getting to see everyone at the fair and enjoy showing off the animals and projects that they have worked so hard on throughout the year. This makes it all that much more difficult to tell our community that we are not going to have our traditional county fair this year.

The La Plata County Fair Board made the difficult decision to cancel many of the fair’s traditional and much-loved activities, such as the demolition derby, carnival, vendors, open class and rodeos, and have instead decided to focus their efforts on 4-H and FFA youths.

The Fair Board wants to give our youths the opportunity to be recognized for all they have achieved this year. We will have the 4-H and FFA horse events, dog show, poultry show and livestock shows. But because of group size restrictions and our current health guidelines, we are only allowed a limited number of people on the property at one time. As a result, we are making the difficult yet necessary request to the general public to ask them to not attend these events.

As you can guess, there have been a lot of challenges and logistics to make these events possible and safe for our youths and their families to participate. Some of the precautions include a contact-tracing check-in for everyone on the property, many sanitizing and hand washing stations, and requiring social distancing and masks to be worn at all times.

For those of you who are interested in supporting our 4-H and FFA youths during these uncertain times, we will be livestreaming some of the shows on our La Plata County Fair Facebook page and are still going to have the livestock auction at 5 p.m. Aug. 8. We anticipate having 30 beef, 20 sheep, 20 goats and 42 swine for sale.

We will have a live auction for those of you who want to attend in person and a wonderful new opportunity to participate in the livestock auction from the comfort of your own home via phone bidding! We will be posting photos of all of the animals for sale on the fair website, www.laplatacountyfair.org, the evening before the sale, so virtual buyers will have the opportunity to see the lineup before the sale starts Aug. 8.

We are requesting that all bidders register in advance this year so we are able to accommodate everyone who would like to participate at the livestock auction, both in person and virtually. To register, contact the Extension Office at jodi.zuber@co.laplata.co.us or 382-6465.

I am very thankful to the Fair Board and their dedication to make these events safe and for their efforts to celebrate our 4-H members for their accomplishments. I am also thankful to you, our community members, for your continued support of our youths and the 4-H program. Together, we make our best even better!

Angela Fountain is the La Plata County 4-H youth development agent. Reach her at angela.fountain@co.laplata.co.us or 382-6460.

Angela Fountain