San Juan County Fair begins on Saturday
The 2020 San Juan County Fair, themed “In An Uncertain Year, Your Fair Family’s Here,” begins this Saturday, August 1 and runs through Saturday, August 8.
“Uncertain” is truly an understatement in 2020. Fair organizer Anna Fredericks said, “It’s my 20th fair and it’s going to be the weirdest one, but we’re excited to have something that feels at least somewhat normal.”
The coronavirus pandemic has prompted drastic changes to all of our lives this year and fairgoers will indeed notice many changes at the County fairgrounds in Monticello.
Due to the yellow or “low-risk” COVID-19 risk phase in Utah, several precautions will be in place. Fairgoers will be required to social distance, remaining six feet apart from others who are not in their respective family group.
Wearing masks is recommended but where social distancing is not possible fairgoers will be required to wear them. Hand sanitizer will also be available at the fairgrounds.
“We know there are going to be events where we’ll have to require masks in the bleachers,” Fredericks explained. “We would just appreciate it if people help us out with that. They’re not our rules, but we really need to try to follow them.”
Fair attendees are also encouraged to bring their own chairs to spectator events to help with social distancing.
Most of the traditional local events are still on the docket for the 2020 fair, including the local rodeo, youth rodeo, livestock competitions and auctions, all-night softball tournament, family movie night, exhibits, food vendors, and more.
But there have been some cancellations and changes. Gone are the concert, the big rodeo, inflatables, and side entertainment.
Also, in support of Navajo Nation curfews and lockdowns, fair organizers felt it would be best to cancel the mud bog. “A lot of people from the south end of the county participate in that,” Fredericks explained.
The local talent find has been moved to Thursday night, when the concert would normally have taken place. The Monticello High School drama team, which was scheduled to perform “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” this spring, will showcase some of the songs from that production.
Fredericks said the fair will live stream everything they possibly can so folks can still experience the fair even though they may be concerned about braving the crowds.
Junior Livestock will live stream their sale and shows. Also, the youth rodeo will be live streamed.
“If people want to buy animals and are concerned about coming to the auction, they can contact Logan Monson directly at 435-459-9349,” Fredericks stated.
Pickup of entries, which normally runs from 5-7 p.m. on the last Saturday of the fair, will be available all day Monday to allow people who are concerned about crowds to participate.
Further adjustments may be made as conditions warrant, including the relocation of certain events and designating a “senior citizens only” time in the fair booths building.
Fredericks said she wants to encourage folks to enter things in the fair. “Everyone’s had lots of time at home,” she explained, “so we hope they’ve made something!
“If you’ve perfected your bread recipe, bring it to the fair. If you’ve made some quilts or if your kids have made some artwork, we’d love to showcase it and show what we’ve been doing during our downtime.”
Fredericks pointed out that fair organizers have made an effort to ensure they’re not burdening fair patrons with extra costs in 2020.
The only event the fair will charge for is the youth rodeo, but every penny of that money goes either toward stock fees or back to the kids for prizes.
It will also cost to participate in the archery shoot, but that is a separate event from the fair sponsored by the Angel Archers.
“We would love for people to come and spend some time with us at the fairgrounds if they feel comfortable doing so,” stated Fredericks.
“Though things may change, we’re thankful that the county has allowed us to move forward. It’s something to look forward to, which we all need at this time.”
Check the San Juan County Fair Facebook page, San Juan Junior Livestock Facebook page, or SanJuanCountyFair.com for complete info, including live streaming, on the 2020 San Juan County Fair.