The Brown County Commission discussed the status of the 2020 Brown County fair for over two hours Tuesday. Attending the meeting included fair board manager Derrick Ricci, fair board members, 4H officials, Brown County Emergency Management, and members of the public.
The fair board presented its recommendation to the commission, calling for the 2020 fair to be postponed until 2021. The vote from the fair board was unanimous and echoed feelings from emergency management and 4H.
The commission ultimately did not make a decision on the matter, instead opted to table the discussion until next week and continue to let the COVID-19 situation develop. However, the consensus of the commission seemed to be, postpone the fair as requested and have a smaller event in its place.
Representing the fair board was Tom Paepke and said three main concerns led to the board’s recommendation to postpone, public health, finances and a lack of volunteers. It is also not clear if the fair board and fairgrounds managers can actually get the cleaning supplies necessary to keep up with necessary cleanliness.
Another problem is the status of the carnival and midway. Ricci says it is possible to still salvage some rides, despite the company the BCF usually works with losing their routing…
Grandstand entertainment was discussed as well. Representatives from Romeo entertainment, the company the BCF contracts with to book music acts, were on the call and confirmed the “Nitty Gritty Dirty Band” has canceled all tour dates. The other acts are willing to perform, but would likely need new requirements to try to ensure public safety. These artists could cancel at anytime however.
If they do not perform this year, these acts and contracts can be rolled over into next year’s fair.
Though conflicted about the decision, each Commissioner expressed their own desire to see some kind of scaled back event happen this year. Commissioner Mike Weise explained…
Members of the public who were there to speak all spoke in favor of having a fair.
Though a decision was not made, before moving on from this topic, Ricci implored the commission to respect the decision made by the fair board...