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Polk County Fair and Rodeo Association: Though fair is canceled, the show must go on

By Jeri Borst

Though many were disappointed by the news their would not be a carnival and fair this year, none more so than the members of the Polk County Fair and Rodeo Association.

Annually the fair is a large revenue generator for the association, which uses the funds to maintain, repair and up keep the fair grounds. Those who benefit from the upkeep of the fair grounds and arena include students, many in 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA) programs, as well as recreational and professional riders and hobbyist, as well as community members who utilize the grounds and buildings for events and entertainment.

The State Department of Agriculture in conjunction with the Department of Health, notified the Polk County Fair and Rodeo Association that carnivals will not be approved this year for fairs.

“Unfortunately, that means that our county fair will be canceled with the exception of the Junior Livestock Show/Sale,” Phyllis Caldwell said. “We will be working diligently to set up alternate Livestock Show plans for all of our Junior Exhibitors so their hard work and dedication is still showcased for Polk County.”

The schedule for the livestock shows has been posted across web and social media platforms and can be found at mypulsenews.com.

“We hate this as much as you do – but we plan on being bigger and better next year,” Caldwell said, noting the commercial building is available for rent, and revenue is needed to maintain operational costs.

While the community will miss fair rides blowing wind through participants’ hair this year, there is no doubt the state mandate to prohibit the fair knocked the wind out of the association’s sails.

The Polk County Fair and Rodeo Association is comprised of volunteers who provide countless volunteer hours in planning and organizing, manual labor, cleaning and construction, but also care about preserving a venue for students and community members to practice in the arts and applications of rodeo, livestock, crafts and so much more.  Community members who desire to see the association continue to prosper can help by making donations, offering to volunteer or by renting the venue for events.

“We still have to pay the bills until next year,” Caldwell said.

For more information contact the Polk County Fair & Rodeo Association at 479-243-6212.

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