With less than a month to plan, the Park County Fair Board has voted against including the carnival and beer garden in the fair. The fair will go forward with the 4-H and animal judging and possibly a small concert on that Saturday.
The board met June 15 with Dr. Aaron Billin, Park County Public Health officer, to discuss the permitted amount of people to attend. Under current orders, no more than 250 are allowed in a given outdoor space, and without any details from the variance about what constitutes a division between spaces, there is no way to currently account for more attendees.
“Even if that went up to 500 by mid-July it would not be feasible for the fair board to look at with safety protocols in place at this time and be prohibitive of profits for the carnival,” said chairperson Tiffany Brando.
Brando said other entertainment costs had to be cut and the budget was presented to the county Monday, meaning the decision is final as there would be no way to afford the entertainment venues and the health safety precautions, such as the sanitization stations with that budget.
A small entertainment event can be afforded on that Saturday, the last day of the fair, with a local band performing, food vendors and a small beer serving station in lieu of a full beer garden, and possibly fireworks at the end.
The cost estimated for the county commissioners was around $10,500, with $4,000 needed to meet sanitization requirements, including the concert and livestock shows. The board expects $4,500 in revenue, mostly from beer sales. Despite this resulting in a financial loss, some members considered it worthwhile as the bare minimum for an event that is supposed to be fun for those attending.
“The board is working to see what that will look like for an event and if it is feasible,” Brando said.
This pared-down look is similar to what many county fairs are doing. Sweetwater County Fair, July 27-Aug. 1, two days after the Park County Fair, is doing a similar limited fair with only 4-H and FFA shows and livestock auctions, office manager Erika Koshar said. The Teton County Fair is doing a similar event.
Central Wyoming Fair, July 9-17, has been canceled outright. Fremont County Fair is one of the primary counties still attempting a full fair or “as close to normal as possible,” according to its recent Facebook posts.
More information and updates for the Park County Fair can be found at parkcountyfair.com and its Facebook page. Exhibit and judging schedules have been posted, and more information will be available as it is confirmed by county and state officials.