After much deliberation and review of the current State and CDC guidelines and restrictions due to COVID-19, the Hillsdale County Fair Board of Directors met June 25, 2020 and voted unanimously to cancel the 2020 Hillsdale County Fair.
This decision was not an easy one, and not taken lightly, but with the advice of our insurance provider, legal counsel, the local health department and MSU Extension. We are all disappointed and wish that circumstances were different. In the end, our greatest concern was with the health and wellbeing of our volunteers, exhibitors, as well as our patrons.
The fair board is recommending that 4H/FFA exhibitors be offered a virtual showcase as a means of completing their project work. Hillsdale County Extension and our office will be releasing details in the near future.
We look forward to September of 2021 and the return of “The Most Popular Fair On Earth”!
What factors were considered in the cancellation?
The decision was made on the facts that we have today, in consultation with our insurance company, health department, state and national organizations, along with state and federal mandates. Decisions can’t be made on what we hope will happen tomorrow or three months from now.
The executive order, as of today, does not permit for gatherings of large numbers until Phase Six. We are currently in Phase Four. Whether you acknowledge or support the EO, we are not allowed to operate a full fair until there is “a high uptake of an effective therapy or vaccine”.
Michigan has “opened up” so why can’t you have the fair??
Yes, things have opened up to some extent. However, we remain in Phase 4, which only allows 10 people inside a building and 100 people outside. When we move to Phase 5, the timing of which is unknown, the new limitations will be 50 inside and 250 outside. Phase 6 would have to be reached in order to hold a fair. Phase 6 will not happen until there is no spread for 30 days or a vaccination is in place for 30 days.
Why is the Hillsdale Auction allowed to operate, but you can’t have the fair?
The Hillsdale Auction leases the property from the Hillsdale County Fair. They have been in constant contact with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and the local health department. They are operating according to the guidelines set forth by these departments.
What does this mean for 4H/FFA exhibitors?
MSUE/4H has designed a virtual showcase which will allow youth to complete their project in an on-line format. The details of this will be presented in the future. Any questions or concerns relating to participation in 4H/FFA should be directed to MSU Extension at 517-439-9301.