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June 4, 2020

5/20/2020 12:43:00 PM
Extension planning virtual 2020 4-H Fair
The 2020 Jennings County 4-H Fair will go on, but without the traditional sights, sounds and smells of the midway and livestock barns.

The county 4-H Council decided against postponing the event until after July 3, when crowds of up to 250 people will be allowed by the state. Instead, it will offer a virtual fair to allow 4-Hers, as well as community competitors, to participate in most of the events online.

The fair was scheduled for the week of June 8, but restrictions implemented by Purdue University and Gov. Eric Holcomb due to the COVID-19 pandemic do not allow for large gatherings unitl after July 3.

"Some classes have been changed or eliminated" to accommodate a virtual platform, said Melissa Wiesehan, 4-H youth development educator.

Information packets will be mailed to all participants after Memorial Day, detailing what photos and materials will be required, and how to upload those onto the Fairentry website.

Anyone interested in joining the county 4-H program may enroll in 4-H through June 1. Project uploads will be accepted from June 8 to July 3, she said.

The time frame was extended because crafts stores only recently reopened, and the Extension Office has been closed since mid-March. This allows participants time to buy supplies and complete entries.

Because of the pandemic "every aspect of everyone's life has changed in some way," Wiesehan said, adding her daughter, a senior in Jackson County Schools, would have been honored this summer for completing her 10th year in 4-H. "We're hoping this will be a learning opportunity for all of us."

Some events were nixed, including several in the goat category, such as speed-milking, and the horse category, namely equitation and horsemanship, none of which translate well to video entries, Wiesehan said. All of this information will be included in the packets, once everything is finalized by the council.

Judges will begin evaluating entries to determine ribbons, placings and awards. Extension staff will then create and post a virtual awards program on the Purdue Extension Jennings County Facebook page. The council hopes to schedule an in-person program for late summer or early fall.

For more information, call (812) 352-3033.

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