The News Editorial: Preparing for fair and the election
July 23, 2020
The Washakie County Fair kicks off this Saturday with the youth horse show and a full slate of shows and entertainment starting next Monday.
This year’s fair will look slightly different due to COVID-19 but unlike some county fairs that have canceled most entertainment, the area county fairs, Washakie, Hot Springs and Big Horn County are moving forward with mostly typical lineups.
The fair board and county maintenance have been working hard to prepare to offer a safe but fun experience at this year’s fair.
At this writing, the fair board and county are still working on seeking a variance for outdoor crowds for three grandstand events. Currently attendance is limited to 250 people at events, excluding participants.
It is unknown with COVID-19 if there will be more or fewer people attending events this year. Some fair board members are expecting a good turnout and were seeking the variance. Current available seating is about 950 in the main grandstand but social distancing needs to be provided in the variance.
Regardless of the number of seats available, the fair board is offering a full slate of fun with pig wrestling on Monday, music Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, rodeos Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights and Monster Trucks on Saturday, Aug. 1.
All of this is in addition to the exhibits and animal shows throughout the week.
There have been a few changes with the sale barn being used to house goats and alpacas in order to allow exhibitors room to social distance between pens.
There will be sanitation stands, gloves and masks for fair employees and helpers. At the grandstand events, bandanas will be handed out to spectators to use. Exhibitors are encouraged to wear their own masks during shows if they desire.
It should be a lot of fun as fair is always a social event, especially for small communities in Wyoming. This year will be no different. No matter where you are on the side of the mask debate or the COVID-19 debate practicing proper hygiene and health guidelines is never a bad thing. Remember to wash your hands when you can or use hand sanitizer, wear a mask if you can’t social distance but most of all be respectful and kind to others around you.
If you are feeling ill or if you are in a high-risk category, consider staying home this year and if not make sure you take proper precautions to keep yourself safe.
If people follow these guidelines the county fair will be something everyone can enjoy and it is hoped we have few, if any, COVID-19 cases afterward.
** ** **
A few thoughts on the Aug. 18 primary election. Last week we began profiling candidates. We opted to profile local candidates, such as the council, early because of the increase in requests for absentee ballots and people potentially voting early.
We want to educate the voters about the candidates so they can cast an informed vote.
Last week we profiled the city council. Two council members – Mike Neufer for a two-year Ward 3 seat and Scott Schaeffer for a four-year Ward 1 seat were not profiled. Both are unopposed in the primary election. While both were sent questionnaires, neither candidate opted to return the questionnaire to the Northern Wyoming News.
Mayor Jim Gill is also unopposed. He had previously spoke out about seeking a second term so we did not profile him at this time.
We will be running profiles again prior to the general election.
This week we are profiling the Senate District 20 candidates, next week will be House District 28 for our Hot Springs County and Big Horn County readers. Mike Greear for House District 27 is unopposed.
And finally, on Aug. 6 we will have brief profiles on the many candidates for U.S. House and Senate.
There is also an opportunity to hear from candidates at Saturday’s Lincoln Day Dinner and at the candidate forum Aug. 6 sponsored by the Worland Business and Professional Women’s Club.