County Fairs create memories that last a lifetime. I remember as a 4-H’er in Washington County Kansas I loved helping plan and build our Busy Bee 4-H Club float for the two parades down Main Street. It was not uncommon for me to be knitting the last row on a sweater or sewing the hem of a skirt the night before judging was supposed to take place. When our three kids were growing up in 4-H, preparations for the Fair made life in the Krug household a bit hectic at times. Now, more than a few years later, I have the privilege of helping teach my young granddaughters sewing and fiber arts skills as they complete their 4-H projects.


The 2020 Fair season in Kansas is going to have a different look this year. The Barton County Fair is one of the earliest Fairs in the state so with the uncertainty of COVID19 restrictions, a more virtual Fair is taking shape. Michelle, our 4-H and youth agent, has embraced the technology needed to pull this off and I’m along for the ride. Earlier this week I got to take a peek at several of the videos our young 4-H’ers completed in their various projects. They made me smile!


It’s so good to see these young people telling about what they learned in completing their projects. After all, sharing what they learned and building relationships with other 4-H’ers and volunteer leaders are really the most important reasons to participate. After the videos are judged, the public will have an opportunity to view them by going to flipgrid.com. The flip code you will need to type in is: btcofair


The Ellis County Fair will get into full swing as the Barton County Fair is winding down. As of today, most of their Fair events will be face to face. Precautions are being made to provide more space between participants as items are being judged and exhibited. Hand sanitizing stations and masks will be available for Fairgoers and volunteers as well.


Most likely the other 103 Kansas Counties will have Fairs that run the gamut between completely virtual to a more normal slate of activities. I hope you will find a way to follow your favorite 4-H’ers in whatever format is provided.


And if there is an open class division at your County Fair, consider entering an exhibit. I just completed my on-line entry for the Barton County Fair with a photo of several tatted snowflakes that I made during the stay at home order. I call them my (don’t laugh) "Corona Flakes."


Donna Krug is the District Director and Family and Consumer Science Agent with the Cottonwood Extension District. You may reach her at: (620)793-1910 or dkrug@ksu.edu K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity employer and provider.