Organizers of the Calhoun County Fair are moving ahead with plans to hold a somewhat traditional event this summer. It is the oldest county fair in the state of Michigan. There was a fair amount of grumbling over the cancellation of last year’s event. But even those doing the grumbling knew there was little that could be done in the wake of the state’s restrictions due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

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Jen Rice is the Manager of the Calhoun County Fairgrounds. She tells the local Advisor-Chronicle that vaccine distribution is playing a large role in supporting the planning for a 2021 fair.  This year’s event is scheduled for August 15-22.  Rice tells the Advisor-Chronicle, “We have known for months that this year’s fair was going to be different, that is, assuming that public health and elected officials in Michigan declare it’s safe for area residents to gather and traverse the fairgrounds later this summer.”

It is clear that while planning for the Calhoun County fair moves ahead, it is not a locked-in-stone done-deal. Rice says, “While no one knows for sure where we will be in mid-August in terms of Governor Whitmer’s plans to re-open Michigan’s economy, I remain cautiously optimistic and continue to work diligently with our county health department and industry experts to make a plan which places the health and safety of our community as our highest priority.”

Planning is including ways to keep people separated to some degree and also keep crowds to a number that can be safely managed.

In Kalamazoo, the County Youth Fair is scheduling the week of August 9th for resuming the event after canceling last year.  The fair posting on Facebook, “The Fair Council planning committee has been working to determine what the options are, and is currently in the process of working with the 4-H Livestock Association, 4-H Horse Council, and 4-H Leader’s Council on finalizing some details. Our hope is that if the State of MI emergency orders allow for it, and MSU Extension policy permits face-to-face 4-H activities that we will be able to have some type of in-person event for the 4-H youth in 2021.”

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