SCOTTS BLUFF COUNTY – Despite the challenges and changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Scottsbluff County Fair went on as planned.
Jana Schwartz, 4-H Assistant at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center, said, “Our numbers were a little bit up with animals and a little bit down with static.”
Schwartz was happy with the audience numbers as well.
“We had a good number of people show up, but yet it was enough that I felt like we could kind of spread out in the stands,” said Schwartz.
Schwartz also said she was happy the 4-H’ers embraced the idea of social distancing: “The youth did a great job of making sure that they were spread out and trying to help keep that social distancing.”
In an effort to help those who could not make it out, the 4-H team partnered with Vistabeam for a live stream of the shows.
Schwartz said, “Vistabeam, they did the livestream each day, so I think that helped some of our grandparents or people who usually like to come to the shows but didn’t feel comfortable.”
A large change for the fair this year was the rabbit show going virtual.
“It definitely is not the same as having the live animals there,” Schwartz said, noting show judges said not being able to touch the animals made the process more difficult.
This was also a change for the 4-H’ers. The judging started with a showmanship speech.
“It helped give another experience to our youth,” Schwartz said. “They had to have that recorded so being able to talk clearly and be able to play to the camera a bit more.”
The 4-H’ers also had a live question and answer session with the judge after the video was viewed.
As the 4-H staff and 4-H’ers prepare for state fair, Schwartz said she was very pleased with the outcome of the county fair.
“All in all, for all of the hoops and differences and things going on in the world, it really I think was a great success.”