For Immediate Release 6/12/2020
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2020 Fond du Lac County Fair update June 12, 2020
The Fond du Lac County Fair is a long-standing 168-year tradition founded on education, agriculture, entertainment, and affordable family fun. The Fair Board understands and appreciates that many of your traditions and sense of normalcy have been placed on pause this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For several months, the Board of Directors for the Fond du Lac County Agricultural Society (Fair Board) has been working to analyze all aspects of the annual event in hopes of being able to provide the Fond du Lac County Fair experience that fairgoers have come to know and love for years. The board explored multiple options to continue this great tradition and consulted with multiple sources during the decision-making process. Safety and cleanliness considerations were included in every aspect of planning. The fair board has also weighed input from all parties involved including soliciting feedback from the community, exhibitors, vendors, and sponsors.
On Tuesday, June 9, the board voted unanimously to proceed with the fair in a modified capacity. Given the ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic, these plans are subject to change. Here are the details:
- We are excited to be moving forward with the cornerstone of our event: the junior and open shows. Without educational opportunities for our youth, we lose our identity and the heart of our mission. The junior and open shows will continue in a safe, modified format, which enables the exhibitors to still showcase their talent. More details regarding changes to exhibiting and judging can be found in the FAQ section below.
- The 2020 Miller Lite Grandstand acts have been postponed to 2021. The fair board explored several options which would have enabled the fair to still host these acts this year. At the request of some of the national acts, limitations posed by our grandstand capacity, and taking in consideration recommendations of the WEDC the only viable option was to postpone these events. We are very excited to announce that The Roots and Boots 90’s Electric Throwdown, Chris Janson, and Daughtry have all confirmed dates for our 2021 Fair! Our bull riding and barrel racing, truck and tractor pull, and demo derby have also all confirmed dates for our 2021 fair. The 2020 Fondy Fair 5K Run/Walk has been cancelled. See the below FAQs regarding the status of tickets purchased.
- At this point in time, it is very unlikely we will be able to provide any carnival rides or games for our 2020 Fair. See the below FAQs regarding our carnival.
- The Expo Building will not feature any vendors this year.
A modified FREE fair will be held for the public in a limited capacity from Thursday, July 16th through Sunday, July 19th. Parking will additionally be free. The attendance capacity of the fair will be reduced and limited by approximately 70% from its normal attendance. All individuals wishing to attend the fair must reserve a FREE ticket IN ADVANCE starting on June 19 at 10AM. It is important to note there will be NO walk-up tickets offered. Please follow this link AFTER June 19th at 10AM to reserve your ticket. The fair will be split into two “sessions” each day with the exception of Sunday. Attendees will be able to reserve tickets allowing them to enter the fair during the first session from 10AM to 4PM and/or the second session from 5PM to 11PM. These sessions will apply to Thursday, July 16th through Saturday, July 18th. Tickets will be available for reservation for one session from 10AM to 4PM on Sunday, July 19th.
Here’s what our modified fair will include:
- Daily shows from the Sea Lion Splash attraction
- Daily shows from the Los Moralitos Family Circus
- Daily shows from Nick’s Kid Show
- Daily shows from The Barnyard Adventure Show
- Two evening shows by a variety of local bands on our stages
- Food vendors from our non-profit clubs and mobile food vendors
- To help maintain everyone’s health and safety, the grounds will be closed daily from 4PM to 5PM for cleaning.
All tickets purchased for the 2020 fair will be valid in 2021. However, refunds will be available upon request by submitting THIS FORM by July 13, 2020. Refunds may be credited to a credit card used at time of purchase or donated to the Fond du Lac County Agricultural Society.
The 2021 FDL County Fair will be July 14-18, 2021. Please note, the decision whether to postpone, cancel, or move forward was one taken very seriously and made with great care. We understand the majority of the public wishes us to move forward with a fair as “normal”, but it is the responsibility of the board to make sure the tradition of the Fond du Lac County Fair continues for years to come. We are so very fortunate of the support of our many local businesses and sponsors. It is because of this support that we can provide a completely free event for the public this year!
-Why was the fair not postponed instead?
The Fair Board decided modifying was a better option given the multiple facets of a county fair including carnival and concession vendor routing, entertainment scheduling, staffing challenges and the timing of youth agriculture shows. It is much more feasible to modify instead of postponing or rescheduling at a later date.
-Will you be implementing mask requirements, temperature checks, or social distancing guidelines?
Masks are encouraged to be worn by attendees but will not be required and will not be provided. We will not be taking temperatures of attendees at the gate. Social distancing will be requested to be practiced throughout the grounds. If attendees are experiencing fever or any symptoms of COVID-19, we ask that you not attend the Fair. If you do not feel comfortable or safe attending an event such as the fair during the current COVID-19 pandemic, we request that you not attend.
What changes will be made for this year’s fair?
Here are some of the changes implemented and potential impacts these changes will have on attendees. These changes have been made to make the Fair safer for attendees.
- Admission entrances will be reduced and the grounds fenced to monitor and limit daily attendance. As a result, fairgoers need a ticket to enter (these MUST be reserved in advance beginning on June 19 at 10AM).
- Social distancing is requested at all times while on the grounds. Fairgoers may bring their own chairs for music events and shows.
- We request lines for food will be spaced out to six feet between each customer.
- No overnight camping for exhibitors will be available.
- Buildings will not be open to the public. Attendees may use restroom facilities located on the grounds. The Expo Center will be open and offer tables spread out for eating which will be cleaned between each use. The Expo Center may also be used as a shelter for weather-related matters.
- No hands-on activities for families. The Sea Lion Splash Show, Los Moralitos Circus, The Barnyard Adventure Show, and Nick’s Kid Show will still take place in an outdoor setting. Families may bring their own chairs; however, bleachers will not be provided due to social distancing rules.
-Will there be some type of virtual/drive-thru option for guests to experience the fair?
No, the fair will not be offering a virtual/drive-thru option as it was determined the modified format is the best option at this time.
-How can I still support Fond du Lac County Fair/vendors/non-profits?
If you’d like to support the Fond du Lac County Fair, you can do so by supporting the Fond du Lac County Agricultural Society. The Fond du Lac County Ag Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is committed to providing a superior experience for FDL County Fair guests. The fair is not affiliated with or funded by Fond du Lac County.
-What are the modified fair days and hours?
The fair will be open to the public by reserving a FREE ticket per session attended. Tickets will be available beginning at 10AM on June 19 via fonddulaccountyfair.com or by calling 920.929.3168. Fair session hours are 10AM to 4PM and 5PM to 11PM on Thursday, July 16th-Saturday, July 18th. There will be one 10AM to 4PM session on Sunday, July 19th. The grounds will be closed from 4PM to 5PM for cleaning daily. Tickets are being required by attendees in an effort to control the amount of people on the grounds during the sessions to allow attendees to socially distance. This requirement is part of our safety precautions. Patrons may reserve FREE tickets for multiple sessions.
-How will judging/auction take place?
Exhibitor project judging and auctions will take place on a modified schedule that will be shared with exhibitors via emails from the UW-Extension office and Fair Office. Call the Fair Office with any questions at 920-929-3168.
-As an exhibitor, how can I register my entries?
You may enter via this link: https://fond.fairwire.com/ Entries close on June 25, 2020.
-Will there be a 2021 fair?
Yes, the Fond du Lac Country Fair is scheduled for July 14-18, 2021!
-How can I volunteer?
We are currently seeking individuals or groups to help with sanitation and tickets. Please email the Fair Office at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are able to help.
-What do I do with advance tickets purchased for Miller Lite Grandstand Events?
All grandstand tickets (concerts, bull riding, tractor pull, demo derby) will be valid and accepted in 2021. If desired, refunds are available by submitting THIS FORM by July 13, 2020. After July 13, 2020, no refunds will be granted. Refunds may be credited to the credit card used at time of purchase or donated to the Fond du Lac County Agricultural Society.
-Are other events at the fairgrounds being affected?
The Fond du Lac County Agricultural Society only operates the Fond du Lac County Fair. We are a private 501C3 non-profit entity and not affiliated with Fond du Lac County. Please contact the Fond du Lac County Fairgrounds Office at 920-929-3169 to inquire about other scheduled events outside of the fair.