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

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.

Fridley Theatres logo with movie theater auditorium in background

Southpark 7 reopens Friday

For the first time in over two months, Spencer residents can see movies on the big screen Friday when Southpark 7 reopens to the public. Movie theaters had been closed to the public since March 17 as part of Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds’s orders to slow community spread of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19. Reynolds allowed movie theaters to begin reopening Memorial Day weekend with social distancing guidelines still in place, such as limiting tickets to 50% of seating capacity. “Friday was the first time in weeks that Iowans had the opportunity to go to a movie,” Reynolds said Tuesday during her daily COVID-19 press conference. “Even though the experience will be different for a while, it’s one that many people have been looking forward to.”

Josh Turner

Josh Turner added to Clay County Fair Grandstand lineup

The Clay County Fair announces Josh Turner with special guest Dillon Carmichael as part of the SRG Concert Series in the Sleep Number Grandstand at the 2020 Clay County Fair on Thursday, September 17 at 7:30 p.m.

With his rich, deep voice and distinctive style, Josh Turner is one of country music’s most recognizable hit-makers. From his 2003 Platinum-selling debut Long Black Train to his 2017 Billboard No. 1 release, Deep South, Turner has scored multiple GRAMMY®, CMA and ACM Awards nominations and received six Inspirational Country Music Awards. As one of the youngest members inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, Turner has sold more than 8 million units and populated radio with such memorable hits as “Hometown Girl,” “Would You Go With Me,” “Your Man,” “Time Is Love,” “Why Don’t We Just Dance” and “Long Black Train.”

Growing up in the small town of Burgin, KY, Dillon Carmichael absorbed the musical life through osmosis: his father and uncles performed in a Southern Gospel Quartet, his mother sang all over the eastern part of the state, and his uncles (John Michael and Eddie Montgomery) both enjoyed massive chart success. The New York Times compared Carmichael to Randy Travis and said his rich baritone voice “moves with the heft and certainty of a tractor-trailer,” while NPR praised his “deep holler,” and Parade raved that “Carmichael defines pure country.”

Dillon Carmichael (photo provided)

Tickets will go on sale this Friday, April 3 at 10:00 a.m. Prices are $35 (general admission stage front seating), $30 (reserved Grandstand seating), and $25 (general admission bleacher seating).

Spencer Signal tower logo and circle above "Spencer Weekly" and text: Episode 3 Rachel Meyer Rainbow Hunts for Kids

Spencer Weekly Episode 3: Rainbow Hunts for Kids

Listen to Episode 3 of Spencer Weekly, featuring Rachel Meyer, the creator of the popular Rainbow Hunts for Kids Facebook group that started in Spencer. It’s the first Spencer Weekly podcast episode ever recorded while social distancing! We made it work, though. This week, Kevin, Andy and Tim were joined by Rachel Meyer, a Spencer mom who started the popular Facebook group Rainbow Hunts for Kids. Meyer started the group as a way to help her daughter regain a little bit of connection with her friends while still practicing social distancing amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

#rainbowhuntsforkids rainbow drawing posted in window

Rainbow Hunts for Kids: Facebook group that started in Spencer goes viral

Rachel Meyer’s daughter was missing her friends. As with many kids staying home while schools are closed, Meyer’s daughter was feeling the effects of the social distancing requirements being put in place across the country – and the world – to slow the spread of COVID-19. So, Meyer had an idea. If it worked, then her daughter would have a fun activity to fill her time. They’d also have a reason to drive around the Spencer area and interact with her friends – from the car, of course.

Two young Spencer residents communicate with another young neighbor by talking across the street and drawing messages with sidewalk chalk.

NW Iowa residents stay in touch while practicing social distancing

Many aspects of daily life have slowed down or come to a halt as the Spencer community hunkers down in attempts to slow the spread of COVID-19. As of March 19, the Iowa Department of Health has not reported any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Clay County or any of its neighboring counties. Still, city, county, state and federal officials are all imploring people to wash hands frequently, avoid touching their face, work from home when possible, not gather in groups of more than 10, and, of course, practice social distancing. Social distancing is a method used to slow the spread of contagious diseases, such as COVID-19. It involves avoiding groups of people, limiting time spent in areas where others visit (schools, stores, restaurants, public spaces, etc.) and simply keeping enough distance (6 feet is recommended) between each other.

"NW Iowa Emerging Leaders Summit" with light bulbs on ground and sky background

NW Iowa Emerging Leaders Summit hopes attendees leave inspired

The organizers of Friday’s Northwest Iowa Emerging Leaders Summit in Spencer want attendees to leave inspired and ready to engage with their communities. The event, held at the Clay County Fair and Events Center from 12-5 p.m., is being put on by the SpencerUSA Young Professionals and the Lakes Area Young Professionals. There will be a lunch, panel discussion, breakout sessions and a keynote speaker to wrap up the summit. Kevin Brown, a member of the SpencerUSA core committee, explained the idea for the regional conference emerged following last year’s Young Professionals of Iowa state conference held in Spencer at the Events Center. “Having the success that we had last year with the state conference coming here, that’s one of the best-attended statewide YP conferences they’ve had and this is just the perfect venue for all of it,” Brown said.