Wyandotte County Fair goes on without food, rides or fair-goers

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Update: Kansas State University Research and Extension, which administers the 4-H program in Wyandotte County, did not organize or sanction the in-person showcase of animals at the Wyandotte County Fair. In late June, Kansas State Research and Extension notified all families in Wyandotte County 4-H that it was cancelling all in-person livestock events. The only 4-H sanctioned events have been hosted virtually to ensure the safety of their youth, families, staff and volunteers.

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The Wyandotte County Fair was originally scheduled to open to the public Tuesday.

The fair is still technically going on this week, but it’s not open to the public, only to families of 4-H participants.

The Wyandotte County Fair Board decided in March to cancel all the vendors and entertainment because of the pandemic.

Goats and sheep were unloaded from trailers at the Wyandotte County Fair on Tuesday, but the pavilions that are usually also filled with cows, pigs and chickens are all empty. It’s one of a host of changes at this year’s Wyandotte County Fair.

“We wouldn’t let anybody stay overnight at the fairgrounds so we allowed the kids to haul their animals home that way there is only one species at the fair each day they do their thing and go home and that’s basically to control the environment better,” Wyandotte County Fair Board Member Roy Mortell said.

After the fair board decided to cancel all the food, rides and games, they wanted to make sure youth in the 4-H program still got a chance to showcase all the hard work they put into raising potential grand champion animals.

“We’re glad we can still have a fair and the Wyandotte County fair board is still putting this on. It will be different but still glad the kids get to showcase their hard work,” parent Dean Schempp said.

Livestock auctions that follow will be virtual as are all the competitions for crafts, cakes and produce.

Even though the Wyandotte Coutny Fair isn’t open to fairgoers, both Missouri next month and Kansas in September are planning on having pretty typical fairs except for some of the larger grandstand events being cancelled.

Each plans midways with rides, games and food. Missouri will open its grandstand for tractor pulls, but not concerts. Kansas has announced a mask requirement for all guests.

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