Clay County Fair survey gauges ‘comfort levels’ of attending 2020 event

Clay County Fair survey gauges ‘comfort levels’ of attending 2020 event

Clay County Fair and Events officials want to know how comfortable people are with the idea of attending the Clay County Fair in 2020.

As of now, the major annual event in Spencer is still on for September 12-20, but officials have sent out a survey to get more input.

“A decision on what the 2020 fair will look like is going to require a pretty big toolbox of things to really kind of put together a full picture,” Clay County Fair and Events CEO and Manager Jeremy Parsons said. “And one of those tools that will be in the toolbox will be the results of the survey.”

The survey asks people to answer questions that will gauge their “comfort levels,” Parsons said, about attending the fair this year. It also tries to see what people may need to feel more comfortable at the fair. 

“That’s just one of the tools that we will be using as we plan for the 2020 fair,” Parsons said. “Then you have to look at whether there will be or will not be a Clay County Fair in 2020.”

The survey was distributed through the fair’s email mailing list and with help from the Spencer Chamber of Commerce and Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation.

Planning for 2020 fair continues

Planning for this year’s fair is proceeding as through the event will happen.

“We continue to keep planning ahead, fully understanding that COVID is going to make the fair look different,” Parsons said. “Part of the process right now as we put together the 2020 fair is how does the fair and COVID kind of coexist.”

Parsons said the situation is similar to what Arnold’s Park Amusement Park has been going through with how they are trying to find out how they can remain open. The park closed temporarily on June 13 until Friday amid an increase in COVID-19 cases in Dickinson County.

Parsons: No added pressure from Iowa, Minnesota state fairs’ cancellations

Thanks to its size, the Clay County Fair often is lumped into the same conversations as the Iowa and Minnesota state fairs rather than other county fairs.

Both the Iowa and Minnesota state fairs have announced the cancellations of their 2020 fairs. The Iowa State Fair was scheduled for August 13-23, while the Minnesota State Fair was scheduled for August 27 to September 7.

Parsons said Clay County Fair planners don’t feel pressured to make similar decisions based on those cancellations.

“Obviously fairs are very unique to their specific communities and the decisions the Iowa State Fair and the Minnesota State Fair both made were the right decisions for their fairs in their locations at their time,” Parsons said. 

He added that the Clay County Fair may find something that works in northwest Iowa that wouldn’t work in Des Moines or Minneapolis.

Parsons said an announcement will be made in mid-July about how and whether the Clay County Fair will go on this year.

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