In an announcement May 27, General Manager of the Great Jones County Fair John Harms said the fair would be canceling entertainment and track events due to COVID-19.

“The pandemic and our interests in keeping everyone safe and healthy have forced the decision to modify the 2020 Great Jones County Fair,” Harms said in a statement posted to the Great Jones County Fair website. “Since the live performances of entertainment throughout the country are currently put on ‘hold’ our stages will be empty, as well as all wheel and track events scheduled.”

He went on to say that the fair was attempting to negotiate with the scheduled entertainers, which included the Zac Brown Band, Alan Jackson and Dan + Shay, to return for 2021. Further information on that and information for those that had purchased tickets would be released at a later date.

The 2020 Great Jones County Fair is still planning on having the 4-H/FFA section of the annual event and ensuring that will be executed safely is now the organization’s main focus.

“Our immediate focus will be with our youth, and to provide a safe and healthy experience for them this summer as they showcase their hard work and projects. That exhibition will be accomplished by keeping within the CDC and IDPH guidelines, as we all address the COVID-19 pandemic,” Harms said.

After the announcement, the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Jones County Office released a statement addressing 4-H and FFA members on the Jones County, Iowa 4-H Facebook page.

The hope is to still have face-to-face shows, but backup plans are in the works for virtual exhibiting.

“No matter how things look, we will make every effort to give you an opportunity to show off all the projects you’ve been working on throughout the year,” the statement said. “Keep working on fair projects as you normally would…be sure to spend some extra time on project write-ups, as they’ll be more critical this year.”

Show and exhibit judging schedules may be moved around to accommodate any changes. A more detailed plan will be made available in early June.

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