OKANOGAN – The Okanogan County Fair will go ahead as planned in September, county officials said.
During a Zoom platform meeting May 11, county Commissioner Andy Hover told the Fair Advisory Committee that the annual event is still a go for Sept. 10-13.
Committee members outlined plans for various areas, along with plans for dealing with COVID-19 and some uncertainty about the virus’ impacts.
Admission prices likely won’t be reduced, said Chairman Mike Egerton.
A dozen vendor applications have been received and seven contracts for entertainment are in the works, with other acts have yet to submit paperwork. The fair has received 127 applications for camping spots; those aren’t due until the middle of June.
Veterinarians are being lined up to help.
Still up in the air is whether there will be a carnival and beer garden this year.
Training for superintendents and judges is planned for July 25.
Queen Whitney Wilson said she’s ready to go with her service project to refurbish the Little Beef Barn, although she’s met with some resistance from livestock superintendents. Some people don’t want to see beef exhibits split up.
Hover indicated he’s been contacted by some volunteers threatening to quit if changes are made.
“There was a lot of conversation about what we should do,” according to committee preliminary minutes. “The main concern was for how Whitney would be treated if we let her go forward.”
A majority of committee members still want to see the project happen. Committee Chairman Mike Egerton said he would contact superintendents and let them know the committee made the decision.
Wilson said she hasn’t been able to attend any events because of the COVID-19 shutdown, so she has been making gifts for visiting royalty and working on her fair service project, for which she has secured $1,000 in donations.
The committee also is considering whether to give Wilson a second year as queen because of the coronavirus interruption, as some other fairs and rodeos are doing.
Committee members learned repairs have been made to the Agriplex Annex and 4-H Building, dirt has been added in the Berg Brothers Pavilion, repairs are being made in the home economics building and Jones Hall is getting an overhaul. A group is looking into grants for a beef barn show area.
The committee voted to let volunteers add a wash area to the sheep barn. Some materials are being donated.
Horse barn volunteers also want to make repairs.
Hover said he would meet with health officials to find out whether it’s OK to get to work on an electrical project at the fairgrounds and for Wilson to work at the grounds.