IMLAY CITY — In lieu of hosting a traditional fair, the Eastern Michigan State Fair Board has opted to host daily showcases for youth-only exhibitors over the next two weeks at the fairgrounds, starting Saturday, July 25 through Aug. 2.

Fair Manager Ian Kempf said the series of “Show and Go” showcases are being extended from their originally scheduled dates of July 28 – Aug. 1, which had been the original dates for the 2020 Fair.

By spreading out the event over a longer period of time, said Kempf, organizers will be able reduce the number of people on the grounds at the same time; thus helping to ensure the public health and safety.

“This will allow us to spread things out a bit and to keep groups of people smaller,” said Kempf.

“Our goal is to give the kids the opportunity to show their animals, and to be judged.”
He noted the event will be subject to Michigan’s Phase 2 ‘Safe Start’ guidelines.

Kempf pointed out that hosting the youth exhibitions is consistent with the Fair’s mission to keep youth foremost in their practices and decisions. “The Board was committed to offering youth exhibitors the opportunity to show the animals they’ve been raising and for their efforts to be judged,” said Kempf. “Each species of animals shown at the fair will have a revised schedule and a one-day show, spread out over the two weeks.” He said youth exhibitors will have to keep their animals in their trailers until show time, and then leave the grounds immediately thereafter.

He added that the number of in-person supporters, spectators and family members allowed will be “extremely limited.”

Exhibitors were to have been sent specific information about their shows this month via email communication.

To eliminate any possible confusion, Kempf reminded that none of the traditional events found at the Eastern Michigan State Fair will take place this year, including the carnival rides, grandstand events, livestock auction and fair food.

Tom Wearing started at the Tri-City Times in 1989, covering the Village of Capac as a beat reporter. He later served stints as assistant editor and editor. Today, he covers Imlay City and Almont as a staff writer. He enjoys music and plays drums and sings with various musical groups in the Detroit Metropolitan area.