2020 Postponement FAQs

Answers to questions about postponement of the Fair

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2020 Fair Postponement FAQ's

Why is the Fair postponed?
The word canceled seemed so final; we know we will be back next year.

We are heartbroken we can’t gather together this September. We tirelessly analyzed all the unique traditions of the Fair, looked at many different plans, and dialogued with our many partners an attempt to fulfill the Fair’s mission of providing a “safe family atmosphere” in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Ultimately, it became clear we could not fulfill that mission, and we believe it will be safer given the current COVID-19 situation to wait until 2021.

While we don’t know what September will bring, we do know that we had to make decisions based on what we know today, not what we hope the world will look like in a couple of months.

Our greatest responsibility is to ensure that the Fair remains strong and resilient now and for the next 100 years. If we continue planning, investing and purchasing what we can’t unwind, and if this ever-evolving health crisis takes a bad turn and forces our cancellation in a month or two, or after we open our doors, we will have dug an immense hole that would be difficult to climb out of.

Why couldn’t we wait longer to make this decision?
Planning each edition of “The World’s Greatest County Fair” is a herculean task that requires a true team effort. The Board of Directors, staff, superintendents, Fair-time workers and volunteers, 4-H and FFA youth, open class competitive exhibitors, commercial exhibitors and concessionaires, sponsors, and entertainers all come together to put on the best possible Fair each September for our 300,000 guests. We have narrowed down a minimum of 60-70 days for ordering materials and getting the Fairgrounds ready. We took all the time we could to come to our decision to be sure that we had looked at every aspect and reviewed the most recent COVID-19 information.

Who made the decision to postpone the Fair?
The Clay County Fair Association Executive Committee voted to postpone the Fair based on information compiled by staff and reviewed by the full Clay County Fair Board of Directors.

Did you consider modifying the fair or moving the dates to later this fall?
We analyzed many options for modifying the Fair. Unfortunately, we discovered that implementing those modifications (particularly social distancing) would have eliminated some of our greatest Fair traditions and made other traditions unrecognizable.  No matter how hard we tried, we couldn’t find a way to give you the entire “World’s Greatest County Fair” experience that you have come to love, expect, and deserve.

Moving the Fair to later dates would have been impossible, and no less uncertain.  The Fair is part of a vast network of partners that hold obligations to other festivals and events throughout the fall; it just isn’t feasible to move such a large event to another date.

Is this the first time the Fair has not been held?
This marks the fifth time in the 103-year history of “The World’s Greatest County Fair” that the Fair will not be held. From 1942-1945 the Fair was suspended due to World War II.

Why are other fairs in the region holding their fair and the Clay County Fair is not?
Every fair is a unique institution in their community and no two fairs are alike.  Some are larger, some are smaller; some are only a few days, some are many days.  While some fairs are able to solve the puzzle of fairgoer and volunteer safety and go forward, we were not able to find a feasible way to keep 300,000 fairgoers and 1,000 employees and volunteers safe for nine days.

How can I support the Clay County Fair this year?
A year without a fair will present challenges – not just for us, but for our partners, exhibitors, vendors and more. The Fair is currently working on options to support many of those entities. If you would like to support the Fair directly, you can do so through the Clay County Fair Charitable Trust. Established in 1993, the CCF Charitable Trust is a  501(c)3 non-profit whose goal is to ensure a blue ribbon future for the “World’s Greatest County Fair.” To learn more, click here.

How can I still support Fair vendors?
We know that the livelihood of our vendors will be drastically affected by the absence of the Fair. We are exploring options that would give you an opportunity to still patronize your favorite Fair vendors. You can always visit our vendor listing here for more information on each vendor.

When will you start announcing information about the 2021 Fair?
Work on the 2021 Fair has begun. We can’t wait to see you September 11-19, 2021.

Do you have plans in place for other events in 2020?
We will all miss the Fair this September so we are working on ways that we can share parts of the blue ribbon experience with you.  Opportunities for our local Clay County 4-H/FFA youth and local non-profits are at the forefront of that attempt, as well as giving you a “taste of the Fair.” Details will be released in the coming weeks.

TICKETS & PARKING

I already purchased or have gate admission for 2020. What are my options?
Your 2020 gate admission ticket will be valid for the 2021 fair. No action is required.

I already purchased or have parking  for 2020. What are my options?
Your 2020 parking permit will be valid for the 2021 fair. No action is required.

I already purchased or have Grandstand tickets for 2020. What are my options?
All Grandstand concerts have now been rescheduled to 2021. If you have already purchased tickets for a show, your seats are reserved for 2021. If you wish to request a refund, you may do so by contacting Midwestix, the Fair's official ticket provider. Due to COVID-19 and limited office hours, the best way to request a refund is to email info@midwestix.com. Refunds for this show can be requested for 30 days or until August 31. Handling and processing fees, which are included in advertised ticket prices, are non-refundable.

I purchased my Grandstand tickets in person at the Events Center with cash or check. What are my options?
All Grandstand concerts have now been rescheduled to 2021. If you have already purchased tickets for a show, your seats are reserved for 2021. If you wish to request a refund, you may do so by contacting Midwestix, the Fair's official ticket provider. Due to COVID-19 and limited office hours, the best way to request a refund is to email info@midwestix.com. Refunds for this show can be requested for 30 days or until August 31. Handling and processing fees, which are included in advertised ticket prices, are non-refundable.

What if I purchased my tickets from a source other than Midwestix?
If you purchased your tickets through a third party vendor other than Midwestix, you will need to contact them directly for instructions and information.

COMPETITION (Open class & 4/H-FFA)

What will happen with livestock competitions?
Unfortunately, with the postponement of the Fair, there will be no open class livestock competition.

Local Clay County-only 4-H/FFA livestock competitions will be held in September! Details will be available soon from Iowa State University Extension Clay County.

I’ve already been working on my projects for 2020. What will happen with non-livestock competitions?
Keep working! We’d love to have your projects entered at the 2021 Fair.

I’ve submitted my fees and entry information for open-class livestock competition(s) this year. What will happen to my entry fees and any tickets purchased?
Since almost all Exhibitor payments were made through PayPal, refunds will be issued back through PayPal.  The exhibitor will be refunded for ALL purchases they made through ShoWorks. The refunds will include advance gate admission, camping fees, entry fees (horse & prospect cattle), livestock pen/stall fees and Stockman’s livestock parking fees.

Refunds will be issued back to the original payment method.  In other words, if an exhibitor used a credit or debit card, the refund will be processed back onto that card.  If an exhibitor used a PayPal account to pay for their items, the refund payment will go back into the PayPal account.

Refunds to credit/debit cards can take from a week up to 30 days to show up on the exhibitor’s card.  Processing depends on the card company involved and is not controlled by the Clay County Fair.  Exhibitors are reminded to keep an eye out on their card transactions to see when their refund has been posted.

If after 60 days exhibitors have not received their refund, please call the Clay County Fair (712-580-3000).

Any exhibitor who made their payment via check, paid directly to the Clay County Fair, will receive their refund in check form.  Checks will be mailed around the end of July.

The Clay County Fair will start the refund process on July 6, 2020.

Entries that were made by an Exhibitor and put into a SAVED CART will not be processed and so there would be no charges made to their card.  Thus, there will be no refunds for those items.

VENDORS/COMMERCIAL EXHIBITORS/CONCESSIONAIRES

I’ve been accepted as a vendor at this year’s Fair. Now what?
No action is required. We know that our vendors are a cornerstone of the Clay County Fair, and we value our partnership together. If you wish to continue to be a vendor, your 2020 payments and location will be moved forward and applied for the 2021 Fair. If you have additional questions, please reach out to our commercial exhibits department.

I applied to be a new vendor for the 2020 Fair but my application was not accepted. Will I need to re-apply for consideration for the 2020 Fair?
Yes, you will need to reapply for consideration each year. We do not carry over applications from year to year.

How can I support vendors?
We know that the livelihood of our vendors will be drastically affected by the absence of the Fair. We are exploring options that would give you an opportunity to still patronize your favorite Fair vendors. You can always visit our vendor listing here for more information on each vendor.

SPONSORS

What should I do if our organization has already paid for our 2020 Fair sponsorship package?
2020 sponsors can elect to roll their sponsorship amount forward to the 2021 Fair, gift their amount to the Fair, or request a full refund. Someone from the sponsorship department will be in touch soon.

As a sponsor I receive an exhibit space in my package. Will my space be held for the 2021 Fair?
Yes. All 2020 exhibit spaces will remain available to you at the 2021 Fair.

Will sponsorship recognition remain as-is on the sponsorship page of the Fair website?
Digital recognition of sponsors will remain as-is for those that were planning to be a sponsor of the 2020 Fair.

Our 2020 sponsorship package was still in negotiations, how do I proceed for the 2021 Fair?
The sponsorship department will be in touch to discuss the process for options to move your sponsorship agreement to the 2021 Fair.

OTHER QUESTIONS

What will happen with non-Fair events?
Each year the Clay County Fair and Events Center holds hundreds of events outside of the nine days of the Fair. These events will be allowed to continue as long as the client/promoter is able to meet the Fair’s Reopening Guidelines, which follow the guidance of local, state, and federal agencies. Cancelation or postponement decisions of these events will be made by the client or promoter.

How can I ask additional questions?
If your question has not been answered above or you need something more specific, please email info@claycountyfair.com and we will get back to you as soon possible.