Greenlee County Fairgrounds

The arena at the Greenlee County Fairgrounds

With COVID-19 still a concern, this year’s Greenlee County Fair, set for Sept. 17-20, is going ahead on a smaller scale.

Instead of carnival rides, exhibits and fair food, the annual livestock show and auction will be front and center at the 2020 fair. In these events, Greenlee County Junior Livestock Association and 4-H youth have a chance to show off and sell their animals. There will also be a takeout-only barbecue on Saturday, Sept. 19.

“We want to do the best we can for the kids under the circumstances,” said Richard Lunt, county board of supervisors chairman, during a recent board meeting/work session.

“A lot of discussion has gone on before this meeting. There’s been a lot of compromise,” said Lunt. “Not everybody gets what they want. We’ve got each other to protect and yet we want positive things to happen for the kids.

“I don’t think we need to have exhibits,” he added.

Greenlee County Fair Director Lendsey Basteen said during the meeting that COVID-19 restrictions would make a carnival too hard to manage safely in combination with the livestock show and auction. “I don’t see how we can do it all.”

Those restrictions also mean the auction won’t be open to the public other than young exhibitors’ parents, who are allowed to come in and take pictures.

The auction will be shown on Facebook Live.

Fair goers will be asked to wear face masks and follow social distancing guidelines. There will be hand sanitizing and hand washing stations as well. An additional tented area will be set up, allowing people to spread out.

“The (junior livestock) association will be working with us to make sure the kids are safe,” Basteen said.

“We really need to get back to basics and do what we have to do for the kids,” Supervisor Ron Campbell said. “I think if we can do that successfully we don’t need the issues that come along with the carnival this year. This is a special year; it’s different for all of us.”

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