CAIRO — A month after organizers announced the 66th annual Greene County Youth Fair would be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, a new plan has emerged to hold the event virtually.
Dubbed the “Quarantine Classic,” the 2020 version of the Youth Fair will have an entirely new feel.
Other regional fairs including the Dutchess County Fair and the Altamont Fair have lost their 2020 seasons due to the virus. No decision has been made yet on the Columbia County Fair.
“We tried to come up with something for the kids to show their exhibits and stay interactive with the fair,” Greene County Agricultural Society Secretary Patricia Ross said.
During the 2019 fair season, 140 local youths participated, Ross said.
“We’re hopeful that the youth of Greene County will participate,” she said. “We know it’s not the same as being there socially.”
Non-livestock submissions such as artwork or baked goods will be submitted either in a one-to-three-minute video format or with photos accompanied by a written description. Exhibitors are required to answer five questions about their projects, which are outlined on the fair’s website.
Livestock submissions require a one-to-three-minute video demonstrating the youth’s showmanship skills — or how they handle the animal in the show ring. Photos of the animal before and after being prepared for the show ring are also required for the submission and the exhibitor has to answer five questions about the animal in the video portion.
All submissions must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by July 17. To have the videos and photos featured in the virtual shows, a release must be signed by a guardian and submitted by July 3.
Youths from the ages of five to 21 can participate as long as they are residents of Greene County. The fair is not exclusive to 4-H members. Youths may also register as “independents.”
Publication of virtual exhibits will follow the original schedule for the fair with the poultry, dog and swine shows on July 23; dairy, rabbit and beef shows on July 24; and horse, goat and sheep shows on July 25.
There are several new contests being developed such as the cake decorating contest and a costume contest with the exhibitor’s animal, Ross said. The fair’s annual talent show is being taken to the web as well.
To view the full calendar of events visit the greenecountyyouthfair.com
The virtual fair follows an announcement by Greene County Agricultural Society President Alex Johnk to cancel the fair May 28.
“The Greene County Agricultural Society regrets that we will be canceling the 2020 Greene County Youth Fair,” Johnk said. “Our team of volunteers decided the safety of exhibitors, vendors, volunteers, families and guests is too important. This was not an easy decision, and we would like to thank everyone who has supported the fair. We are already making plans for 2021 and will strive to make this a wonderful event next year.”
The immediate future of the Columbia County Fair remains uncertain.
“We need to know prior to July 1 to give us ample time to prepare for the annual fair that is scheduled for Sept. 2-7, 2020,” according to an announcement on the fair’s website. “If we cannot open the grounds as normal, the annual fair will not be presented and all contracts received for the 2020 year will be placed on hold.”