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Johnson County Fair open under new restrictions

Posted at 8:17 PM, Jul 23, 2020

FRANKLIN — There is no Indiana State Fair this year due to coronavirus and dozens of 4-H fairs are also canceled but the Johnson County Fair opened its gates this week but with restrictions and new health rules.

4-Hers are getting a chance to compete showing off animals and homemade projects.

"Most people see fairs as rides, carnival games, but I like see the fair as a big family," Emily Martin, a 4-H participant, said.

This is Martin's sixth year participating with Johnson County 4-H. She like several other young people are showing off pigs this week.

The event almost never happened because COVID-19 threatened to cancel all fair activities.

"I think it's worth it 'cause a lot of kids put a lot of hard work throughout the year," Martin said. "I'm glad we've had it."

On the fairgrounds, there are no carnival rides, no food vendors and no crowds.

The fair is only open to 4-H participants and members of their family.

Masks and social distancing are on demand.

"We've had great cooperation from the families and kids," Mike Pruitt, a member of the 4-H board, said.

Taking extra safety precautions, the fair is webcasting the events for families with health concerns or those unable to travel to Franklin. From home, people can watch what 4-Hers have spent months working on.

"We wanted to give something special that they can hold onto because many have been unable to compete in sports, even go to school for that matter, to see their friends," Pruitt said. "We are like their last chance of 2020 through their summer."

The chance to win ribbons and earn bragging rights hasn't changed, though it's fair to say many hope July 2021 will be better.

The Johnson County Fair ends Saturday.