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Concerts planned at fairgrounds, booths downtown and static exhibits online

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Concerts will be held at the Crook County Fairgrounds Wednesday through Saturday. The concerts held Thursday through Saturday will be free, but tickets are required to keep crowds within COVID-related guidelines. Countryfied (above) will perform Saturday evening.

There is little evidence of it beyond the animal barns at the Crook County Fairgrounds, but the 2020 fair has already begun.

Because of the 100-person public gathering limitation associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, fair leaders opted to start the livestock showing portion of the fair on Sunday instead of Wednesday. It will conclude on Friday.

"We had to stretch it out," said Fairgrounds Manager Casey Daly.

Livestock showing will be livestreamed on the Crook County 4-H Facebook page.

The livestock sale will take place on Saturday at the fairgrounds, but the event will be invitation only so that COVID-related head count maximums are not exceeded. For those who cannot attend but want to participate, the sale will be livestreamed on auctions.net.

Though the livestock showing has already begun, the majority of the fair's events will begin on the traditional Wednesday start day or later in the week. While that is the case, they will differ in a variety of ways. For example, instead of a barbecue, the fundraiser for the Greg Merritt Scholarship program will be a concert. The Wednesday night show, taking place at the fairgrounds, will feature the Doo Wahs Riders. Limited tickets can be purchased at the fairgrounds office.

Other musical act will perform subsequent free concerts at the fairgrounds on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening. Court Priday & The Lord Wally Band is planned for Thursday, The Jessie Leigh Band will take the stage Friday and Countryfied will perform Saturday.

People attending the concerts will have to get tickets because seating is again limited by pandemic-related regulations. Tickets are available at the Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce office, and Daly said tickets have been dispersed throughout the business community.

Static exhibits, other than those that must be tasted or touched, will be shown and judged virtually this year. Entrants were invited to take pictures of their exhibits, and those photos will be viewed by judges and the public. A link to the pictures can be found on the Crook County Fairgrounds website.

Other fair events will take place in downtown Prineville. Thursday through Saturday, from noon to 6 p.m., people can use a walking map to visit such educational displays as Wildlife Wendy and Puzzlemania.

"It shows the way we would like you to walk through exhibits so we can keep people all going in the same direction," Daly said.

The map, which will be available at an information booth downtown, also offers a schedule of free performances planned at the Pioneer Park stage. The Talent Showcase, a juggler and different dance troupes will take the stage at different times throughout the three-day span.

"We are encouraging everyone to bring a lawn chair," Daly said. "There will be some 12-foot hoops laid out on the lawn that will keep people social-distanced."

Also, while fairgoers wander the map route, they can stop by some listed local businesses that are offering fair specials.

As people enjoy the fair this year, event leaders are encouraging them to follow state guidelines and prevent spread of the coronavirus. Signage will be placed throughout fair locations and hand sanitizer and hand-washing stations will be provided in multiple locations.

"We have worked very hard to put this together and make it happen," Daly said.


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