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story.lead_photo.caption Amber Davis with Sunshine Amusement Company prepares her game stand for Friday night events at the 2019 Jefferson City Jaycees Cole County Fair. Photo by Tara Goins/News Tribune

The Jefferson City Jaycees will hold their 70th annual Cole County fair this summer, the group announced Tuesday.

The fair will be held during its normally scheduled time, July 27 through Aug. 1, 2020 Fair Chairman Danny Robinett said.

"This is not a usual year by any means," Robinett said. "We just felt we needed to let the public know that we plan to go ahead and have the event."

As of Tuesday Missouri's statewide COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, including those related to large gatherings, lifted. Local officials still have the authority to put further rules, regulations, or ordinances in place.

Robinett said there are still many details to be worked out about what will take place at the fair.

"I can't say what the schedule will look like because there are contracts that still need to be completed, but we should be able to make announcements very soon," Robinett said. "We'll be doing that on the Jefferson City Jaycees Fair Facebook page."

Gates will open at 5 p.m. each night, as in past years.

"We're still 45 days out for the event, so a lot of things could change, but at this time we're planning to have the event," said Jefferson City Jaycees Chapter President Chelsea Hite. "It was a tough decision and we took a lot of concerns into consideration, but we feel like it will be a good thing for our community to be able to enjoy."

Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Robinett said, they will follow guidelines set by the state of Missouri and the Cole County Health Department for large events.

"We'll have signage around the fairgrounds to address social-distancing requirements," Robinett said. "We will also put in more hand-washing and hand-sanitizing stations this year."

Several county fairs around the state have been canceled due to the pandemic, including those in Boone, Lincoln and St. Charles counties. Other states have canceled their state fairs, but last week Gov. Mike Parson said the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia will be held in August, likely without concerts.

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