The Mille Lacs County Fair Board is currently planning the 2021 county fair as close to “normal” as possible, according to Mille Lacs County Fair Board President Michele McPherson.

“We have a full entertainment lineup, we will hold our typical grandstand events and most of our food vendors will be back,” said McPherson. “One wild card is that our carnival vendor hasn’t fully committed yet; although we have signed the contract with them.”

McPherson said she used the Minnesota Department of Health’s calculator to determine that the fairgrounds will more than accommodate the daily attendance. “The calculator indicates that we can have up to 10,000 people in an unseated manner,” she said. “Our total annual attendance is between 20-25,000, so daily, we will be well under the allowed amount.”

One area that the fair board may need to get creative on, according to McPherson, is the animal barns, specifically rabbit, poultry and sheep/goats. “Their pens/cages are closer together, so it is more difficult to meet social distancing for families,” said McPherson. “We will be working closely with 4-H to comply with whatever the COVID standards are at the time we have the fair to ensure public safety to the best of our ability.”

She added that in addition to the protocol stated above, the fair board will encourage masking and will be providing additional handwashing stations, most of which they will be constructing.

The 2021 Mille Lacs County Fair is scheduled for Wednesday, August 11 through Sunday, August 15.

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