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

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Clay County Fair and Events Center logo with tower gate and Ferris wheel

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.

13 thoughts on “Clay County Fair survey gauges ‘comfort levels’ of attending 2020 event

  1. I would feel real comfortable attending the fair because I practice social distancing everyday since this pandemic started

  2. Just a thought,be ready for more out of town and out of state due to every one canceling state fairs and county fairs! I feel it’s not the best thing if we couldn’t have fireworks where you can social distance, but we want to have a huge fair. It just doesn’t make sense to me . I’ve heard people who have strep still go to fair think how contagious that is. Be ready for people to come who have covid for sure if they have concert tickets! I think you lost enough money on Foreigner last year . Be sure to not loose more by having it due to people not coming. Just my opinion. Lots to think about. Maybe just have a livestock show for the kids this year.

  3. I think it should be cancelled for the safety of everyone. There won’t be no social distancing cuz there’s going to be way too many people and nobody washes ther hands

  4. I agree with Bill I think it should be cancelled there’s no way to social distance with all the food stands, going through buildings, why take the chances? That is putting a lot of lives at risk because some people Don’t even realize they’re asymptomatic and will be spreading it all over and then we take it home to our families

  5. I think it should go on. Everyone needs to stop being sheep and following Mary aka the government .
    Everyone that wears the Examiners masks should read on the box MADE IN CHINA also does not prevent airborne diseases, and for the others that have made them out of cloth, let me ask you this “ Can you smell your fart through your underwear?” If you answered yes then what’s the point of wearing your homemade mask? Covid is not much different then regular influenza B .
    And before you respond to me about “what about people on respirators” let me ask you this “ do you know anyone that’s on one?”

  6. I agree with Liz and Bill, way too many people too figure out the best way to plan everything correctly. Its a difficult decision and time to figure out. This year has put a toll on alot of activities and event’s. There is also too many close food vendors, games, shops and so many out of state and towners that will probably bring it with them and not even know. As much as I love the clay county fair, if it does go on I doubt I will be attending since I am a type 1 diabetic and am very easy to get any sickness that comes near me. We will all just have to wait and see the decision they make and decide to go with!

  7. With the mobs of solid masses of people every day at the Clay County Fair , who are you trying to fool ? My neighbor just tested positive and she wears a mask 100% of the time when outside the home .

  8. I think we should have it. After the year the kiddos have had we need to show them some kind of normality. All the people that are saying we should not have it can stay home. It is thier choice to attend or not. As far as people being scared of everyone traveling here. Residents of Spencer wash your hands, wear your mask if you like, and social distance. I do want to add that I have a daughter that is high risk due to type 1 diabetes and I still stand with having it.

  9. I think we should have it. After the year the kiddos have had we need to show them some kind of normality. All the people that are saying we should not have it can stay home. It is thier choice to attend or not. As far as people being scared of everyone traveling here. Residents of Spencer wash your hands, wear your mask if you like, and social distance. I do want to add that I have a daughter that is high risk due to type 1 diabetes and I still stand with having it.

  10. I believe cancelled all other state fairs have been cancelled so why would t county fairs being cancelled. The rise is still going up.

  11. I believe for everyone’s safety we should cancel fair. Because of Covid it is difficult to get judges and workers. Attendance will be down as people I talk to say, “no way am I going.”

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