Strolling through the livestock barns, a homemade New Bethel ice-cream cup in hand, while the grandstand announcers are heard in the distance may not just be a forgotten dream this year. The 2021 Jennings County Fair is scheduled for June 14 to June 19 and there are a number of exciting changes.
The absence of the 2020 county fair was deeply felt by members of the community; just another annual and beloved tradition canceled by the COIVD-19 pandemic. But the light at the end of the coronavirus tunnel grows ever brighter as that Hoosier summer sunshine draws nearer and people dare to hope for the return of social gatherings.
The Fair Board members and committees are working very hard and are excited to bring new and different events to the fair. They are expecting to fill the grandstands each night with various events — including the favorite Friday night Demolition Derby — a full line-up for onstage live music and they will be welcoming one of the top amusement companies, Milton, IN-based Poor Jack Amusements, to fill the Midway.
Fair Board President Randy Shepherd says there will be some exiting changes, including a mechanical bull and hot-air balloon rides.
“We want to pull out all the stops,” Shepherd said.
Vendors have already been sent applications to register to be a part of this year’s event. CDC and the local health department’s guidelines regarding COVID-19 will be followed.
Shepherd couldn’t speak to how the Board plans to manage these guidelines regarding a large, public outdoor event because, with three months to go, there’s no way to know what the guidelines will be until then.
“We don’t do hypotheticals,” Shepherd said. They will know closer to the week of the fair whether or not they will have to worry about limiting crowds and requiring face masks.
The Jennings County Fair Queen pageant is also moving forward with Kitty Shepherd and LaVerne Vanosdol as co-directors. Though it will be a little strange that 2019 Miss Jennings County Caroline McDonald will be crowning the 2021 Miss Jennings County.
The Board is fully expecting a great response for this year’s county fair. There is definitely a lot to look forward to.