Fair Royalty in masks photo

Idaho County Royalty members (L-R) first princess Paige Layman, queen Halle Klapprich and second princess Madison Shears don their masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COTTONWOOD – Pigs and sheep and steer, oh my! It’s time for the Idaho County Fair.

Despite 2020’s COVID-19 pandemic year, the Idaho County Fair in Cottonwood is set to open Wednesday, Aug. 19, through Saturday, Aug. 22.

However, the fair board has been preparing for a different – albeit still traditional – experience at the county fair.

“There will be more wash stations available throughout the fairgrounds,” said fair board president Leigh Davis of Kooskia. “We also have an excellent maintenance and janitorial staff for the fair. They keep the fairgrounds clean on a scheduled basis.”

Fair board secretary, Pam McIntire, of Woodland, said as the wearing of masks is not mandated, they will not be required at the fair.

“As with all activities in the county, individuals are free to make the choice to wear masks or not,” McIntire said. “We will have masks and hand sanitizer available for our open class volunteers.”

The two said most all 4-H projects have a hygiene component.

“Personal hygiene has always been emphasized when handling and working with our livestock projects,” they agreed. “Food and nutrition and Making the Most of Me projects have a specific hygiene component.”

Tammy Nail, organizational and pig leader of Animal House 4-H Club in Grangeville, said no parents in their group so far have expressed concern about the fair.

“We have really talked a lot about hygiene, social distancing, and just being mindful of the situation,” Nail said.  I believe the fair is going to be just like any other day in a lot of these kids’ lives. Seeing friends and having fun and working with their animals. I hope that there is that thought in the back of their mind -- to be aware and take precautions, but that’s really all that can be done. Everyone, just do the best you can but also enjoy the fair.”

Vendors – food and otherwise – will be asked, as always, to follow state health regulations.

“We are reworking some areas for our 4-H food booth,” Idaho County 4-H Program Director Susie Heckman said. This includes perhaps not having any open containers for condiments and using prepackaged ketchup and mustard. They also plan to use gloves and masks in the food booth.

“By now the public is well aware of their responsibilities for personal hygiene,” Davis and McIntire said. “The board wants the fair to be safe for everyone and another great experience for the kids and exhibitors. We look forward to seeing everyone at the 2020 Idaho County Fair.”


Fair schedule in this week’s special section

COTTONWOOD – See the special Idaho County Fair special section in this week’s paper for details on fair entries and schedules.

Open class items can be entered Tuesday, Aug. 18, 6 to 8 p.m., and Wednesday, Aug. 19, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Pick up an Idaho County Fair premium book at both the offices of the Idaho County Free Press and the Clearwater Progress, or the U of I Extension Office at the courthouse in Grangeville for full entry details. Log onto www.idahocountyfair.org.

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