CORONAVIRUS

Great Jones County Fair cancels entertainment for 2020

Chairs and blankets typically blanket every inch of the free hillside seating for the most popular grandstand concerts a
Chairs and blankets typically blanket every inch of the free hillside seating for the most popular grandstand concerts at the Great Jones County Fair in Monticello. (Gazette photo)

MONTICELLO — Known for attracting high profile performers each year, the stage at the Great Jones County Fair will instead by empty this year.

John Harms, general manager of the Jones County Fair, said live music performances, as well as wheel and track events for the fair will not take place this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Harms has not said how other aspects of the fair will proceed.

“Our immediate focus will be with our youth and to provide a safe and healthy experience for them this summer as they showcase their hard work and projects,” Harms said in s a statement. “That exhibition will be accomplished by keeping within the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and (Iowa Department of Public Health) guidelines as we all address the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Scheduled for July 22-26, 2020, the fair boasted a lineup of acts such as the Zac Brown Band and Alan Jackson. The Zac Brown Band canceled its tour at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Harms told The Gazette earlier this month they were ready to announce additional acts “if it makes sense to have entertainment at the fair.”

“We are making efforts to negotiate the terms with our entertainers and grandstand events for July 21-25, 2021” Harms’ statement said. “We will make those announcements at a later date and address our current ticket holders with their opportunities.”

Already this spring the Linn and Johnson county fairs have announced they will move to a virtual event and cancel all grounds and grandstand entertainment for 2020. Fair organizers have said they will work with the Iowa State University Extension in order to determine how to best give 4-H and FFA youth a chance to exhibit.

Comments: (319) 339-3155; lee.hermiston@thegazette.com

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