Eastern Idaho State Fair is still happening, but organizers say it may be a little different
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BLACKFOOT – Though many community events have been canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Eastern Idaho State Fair this fall is still a go.
During a meeting Thursday night, fair board members voted 4-2 to move forward with this year’s event.
“After much discussion, the board decided it was best to move forward and do everything we could to make this year’s fair happen,” Fair Manager Brandon Bird tells EastIdahoNews.com.
Bird says it will be a little different this year and some events may not be happening. Bird did not comment on specific events because many details are still being worked out.
More information will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead.
“We’re still very hopeful that we’ll have a lot of great fair food,” Bird says. “We are optimistic that things are going to continue to improve in the environment of COVID, and we think people will be excited about an opportunity to come together at the end of summer and hold this wonderful event.”
Bingham County Commissioners and Blackfoot Mayor Marc Carroll were also in attendance at the meeting.
Carroll was unavailable for comment Friday, but the Bingham Chronicle reports the nearly three and a half-hour meeting was a bit contentious. Carroll apparently was strongly opposed to moving forward with the fair this year because of concerns with health standards and social distancing.
“Mayor Carroll spoke to the Fair Board and Commissioners yesterday, expressing his concern about holding the Fair in Blackfoot and he requested that the Board vote NO when the deciding vote is taken. However, against the Mayor’s wishes, the Fair Board has voted to move forward with the Fair. The City will be issuing a more detailed statement later in the day, but we wanted to make the public aware of our Mayor’s position,” the city wrote on their Facebook page.
Getting back to a sense of normalcy while still maintaining health and safety standards is “a delicate balance,” says Bird, and those two factors weighed heavily into the final decision.
“Those two things pulling at us are the reason we made the decision to move forward but to move forward cautiously and in a conservative way. It will be different, but that doesn’t mean it will…not be enjoyable,” Bird says.