MONTICELLO — The White County 4-H Fair is back this weekend.
A year after COVID-19 closed the annual fair to the public, it returns July 16 with many of the same events before the virus brought a halt to large public gatherings.
Because of COVID-19, Purdue Extension had devised a limited 2020 schedule for 4-H youth members.
This year, Miranda Furrer, Purdue Extension White County’s 4-H Youth Development educator, says it will be a “nearly normal” fair.
“Our 4-H members are ready for a fun fair experience with their animals and building projects,” she said. “We have plans in place to do in-person judging of building projects and livestock projects alike.”
Most of the preparation and set-up, such as animal and project check-ins, was done in the days leading up to opening day. The ceremonial flag-raising by junior 4-H leaders is set for 8 p.m. July 16.
Furrer said there will still be a few COVID-19 restrictions in place, as directed by the White County Health Department. Those include recommendations such as social distancing and face coverings, and there will be extra hand-sanitizing stations in place throughout the fairgrounds.
“All of our fun events will be back, like Battle of the Barns,” she said. “Our volunteers and staff have been working hard to make sure this year’s event more than makes up for the limited fair we had in 2020.”
In addition to Battle of the Barns, the Miss White County 4-H Queen contest returns after a one-year hiatus, along with the announcement of the Mr. White County, Junior Miss, Little Miss and Little Mr. White County winners.
A pool of seven girls will compete for Miss White County and three will compete for Junior Miss White County at 8 p.m. July 17. The winner will succeed 2019 Miss White County Emily Jones.
Early the following day, the fair will also see the return of the Horse and Pony Western Show (9 a.m.), Beef Showmanship Show (10 a.m.), Barnyard Olympics (3 p.m.) and Battle of the Barns (7 p.m.)
Judging for dairy, poultry and sheep will be spread throughout the day July 19, while judging for swine will be 7 a.m. July 20, and the Championship Swine Show following 12 hours later.
The Beef Championship Show will be 6 p.m. July 21, followed by the 4-H Ultimate Showmanship Contest at 7:30 p.m.
Checkout of animals, projects and exhibits will take up most of July 22’s activities, with the fair finale being the 4-H Barn Dance between 8-10 p.m. Most of July 23 will be spent cleaning up the fairgrounds.
Some fair events will be recorded and streamed live — and free — on Walton Webcasting, at www.walton-webcasting.com.