For its 150th year, the Lancaster Super Fair is marking a first-of-its kind blended virtual and in-person event.
From Thursday through Sunday, about 800 youth exhibitors will be showing 5,000 entries at the Lancaster Event Center.
Forced to alter operations because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Super Fair shut down the fairgrounds to the public and put the focus on the 4-H and FFA youth competitors, who will get to show the results of a year’s work, some in-person and some online.
All the static entries in categories such as photography, home environment design, clothing, cooking and horticulture have been submitted online and will be judged and displayed virtually. They can be seen at lancaster.unl.edu.
Livestock and horse exhibitions will take place on the fairgrounds. Those events will be livestreamed on the 4HLancasterNE YouTube channel, starting with Thursday’s 4-H Horse Dressage Show at 8 a.m.
Along with the horse events — which will include English, Western and Xtreme horse shows — the livestreamed exhibitions will include beef, poultry, meat goat, pygmy goat, sheep, rabbit, bucket calf, llama and alpaca shows.
The exhibitors and their animals will be on the fairgrounds, but not for as long as usual.
"It's show-and-go each day," said Event Center managing director Amy Dickerson. "Normally, they come out, and they're here for four days. This year, they'll be coming in just for the day that they show. We've spread it out with different animals on each day and the horse shows every day."
The livestock event judges will be on the grounds, evaluating the competitors and their animals in person. But, following COVID-19 safety guidelines established for the fair, the judges will not touch the animals during the shows.
Those guidelines, drawn up by Nebraska Extension, Lancaster County staff and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department, are designed to ensure the safety of exhibitors, staff and volunteers, by, among other requirements, utilizing wristbands for fairgrounds access and limiting the number of wristbands for each competitor for each day.
The final element in the 2020 version of the Super Fair is a kids virtual scavenger hunt that will send youngsters scrambling for ag-related photos and have them watching the livestreams as they compete for food and drink from the fairgrounds.
Details on the scavenger hunt, the COVID-19 safety guidelines and the rest of the 2020 fair can be found at superfair.org.
Reach the writer at 402-473-7244 or email@example.com. On Twitter @KentWolgamott
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