County fair opts for drive-thru and virtual experience in September

Tulare County Fair board decides on a drive-thru and virtual fair that will happen on Sept. 18-20; fate of livestock auction still undetermined

TULARE – For the first time in its 101-year history, the Tulare County Fair is moving forward albeit without their traditional flair. In light of the county’s surging number of COVID-19 cases the fair’s board has announced plans for a drive-thru and virtual tours for this year’s event.

The Tulare County fair board is doing their best to salvage the remains of the fair and give county residents something to look forward to. Due to restrictions by local and state health officials, the large grandstand events have been canceled. Including the entertainment acts which were already booked but hadn’t yet been announced to the public.

“It saddens me, everything we’re used to is getting canceled. We’re hoping to do something to showcase the community,” Tulare County fair CEO Dena Rizzardo said.

The drive-thru portion of the fair will feature different kinds of fair food for people to enjoy. There will be a $5 entry fee per person and each attendee will receive a wristband. Kids who are 12 years old and under are free. People can drive through the fair all throughout the day that they purchased a wrist band.

“We’re going to do our best to take what we’d normally have in the buildings at the fair, such as still exhibits, and exhibit them outdoors on display in a three-wall tent,” Rizzardo said.

The grading shows and auctions will still happen but will look a lot different than previous years.

For the first time in its 101-year history, the Tulare County Fair will offer a drive-thru version of the fair where residents can buy a corn dog or funnel cake and all of the exhibits will be a virtual slide show. Submitted photo.

All still exhibits and contests are free to enter this year and will be judged as normal. Contestants will have to enter their exhibits online by Aug. 21. After submissions have been received and judged the exhibits will be displayed either on the online virtual slide show or throughout the fairgrounds under large tents for the drive-thru fair.

Because of Tulare County’s status on California’s COVID-19 monitoring list livestock auctions will be in doubt until late August. The county’s status on the list will determine if the fair can have multiple day grading shows and live auctions for junior exhibitors that sell through the Dairy Replacement Heifer Auction and Junior Livestock Auction or host virtual online auctions. Livestock entries should still be entered by Aug. 21. Auction buyers will have the option to bid online. The fair will also offer virtual breeding show options for all species and exhibitors who wish to participate.

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