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The coronavirus pandemic may have slowed down other county fairs across the state, but that will not be the case in Moniteau County.

This year's Moniteau County Fair will take place as planned Aug. 3-8 at the Moniteau County Fairgrounds. The fair will kick off with the traditional parade, scheduled for Aug. 1.

Fair organizers said the decision to move forward with the fair was made after carefully considering what can be done to adhere to safety guidelines that can still allow members of the community to enjoy something with a sense of normalcy next month.

"After talking to the health department and some consideration of trying to be careful and trying to do what we can do to practice social distancing, we decided the community was ready to have the fair and kind of get back to a somewhat normal lifestyle," said Travis Peck, president of the fair board.

The fair board has decided to make a number of changes to the week's agenda due to public interest and the ongoing pandemic. The board opted to cancel the Miss Moniteau County Scholarship Contest due to a lack of interest, as well as Senior Citizen Day. The art hall open classes also will be canceled, making the bottom of Centennial Hall for 4-H and FFA projects, and ham viewing. The All-Star Barnyard Revue also will not be in attendance.

The public will be asked to continue practicing social distance while at the fair and there will be some changes to better facilitate that. In Centennial Hall, projects and hams will be spaced out for safe viewing. Organizers also will be placing extra hand sanitizer dispensers in every bathroom and throughout the fairgrounds to help people keep their hands clean.

The turnout may look different than in the past, but Peck said the board is understanding.

"If you feel comfortable coming, come. If you don't, there are no hard feelings — don't come, we understand," Peck said. "That's kind of been our motto the last couple months."

Things may continue to change as cases of COVID-19 arise in the county, Peck said. To stay up to date, check out the Moniteau County Fair on Facebook.

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