Feb. 23—MORRISONVILLE — Though the community has yet to fully make its way through the not-so-fun house of COVID-19, Clinton County Fair officials announced Monday that the much-beloved event is returning this summer with pandemic-related restrictions in place.
The fair is scheduled to run from Tuesday, July 27 through Sunday, Aug. 1, though plans will depend on the steady decrease of new infections in the coming months.
According to a press release, fair officials will work closely with the Clinton County Health Department to ensure safety, watch community trends and work to create robust safety plans.
Fair Manager Mike Perrotte said in a statement that, as the pandemic is still ongoing, the fair experience will be different this year.
"The health and safety of our guests is our top priority, and everyone will be required to follow strict guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus. But it feels good to once again have the fair to look forward to after a tough year."
Citing community welfare and many unknowns at the time, the fair board unanimously decided to cancel the 2020 Clinton County Fair in May of last year.
Regarding COVID-19 precautions that will be in place aside from mask-wearing and social distancing, Perrotte told The Press-Republican of plans to place sanitization stations throughout the grounds and disinfect areas like the bathrooms.
The carnival operator, Amusements of America, has its own disinfection process that they will follow on the midway, he said.
"That all depends on what our rules and regulations are. I don't see that changing much between now and then.
"Whatever they (CCHD) tell us we'll have to do is what we'll do," Perrotte added.
Last year was supposed to be the first of a three-year contract with Amusements of America, which had run the fair's midway in the past.
Instead, the company and fair officials agreed to move the contract back by one year, with 2021 starting off the three-year cycle.
In addition to rides, games and classic carnival concessions, fairgoers will get to witness the "Wall of Death," which, according to the release, is "a throwback attraction featuring daredevils riding motorcycles and go-karts along a vertical wall."
"The midway will actually be bigger than what we've had in the past, according to Amusements of America," Perrotte said, "and we anticipate having as many vendors as we can get in there, as many booths as we can fill up.
"We think everyone's just anxious to get out and do something, vendors alike and fans."
The fair will offer a full schedule of live entertainment, with truck and tractor pulls, monster trucks and a demolition derby confirmed.
"Additional grandstand events are in the works as well, all including increased safety measures, such as social distancing and face coverings, to protect the public," the release said.
Daily performances of children's shows "Pipspeak" and "Buffalo Barfield" will take place, and award-winning magician Chris Yantek will make his fair debut.
Perrotte confirmed Jo Dee Messina, who had been set to headline at the fair last year, will not perform this year.
The fair's agricultural component will feature a variety of 4-H livestock exhibits, agricultural displays and demonstrations, and educational contests, the release said.
Perrotte anticipated that tickets would be available at clintoncountyfair.com over the next few weeks.
There are plans for the Clinton County Fairgrounds to host a number of other events in the coming months:
—A demolition derby on Saturday, May 22.
—Several horse shows throughout the summer and fall.
—A classic car show on Saturday, Aug. 7.
—A monster truck show presented by Versus Monster Trucks on Friday, Sept. 10 and Saturday, Sept. 11.
Additionally, the Plattsburgh Bluegrass Festival, which was canceled last year, is set to run from Thursday, Aug. 12 through Saturday, Aug. 14.
Perrotte said the fairgrounds will likely not resume hosting drive-in movies since Cumberland 12 Cinemas, which has always supported the fair, has since reopened.
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