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Kern County Fair board announces fair is still on

Kern County Fair board announces fair is still on
Posted at 12:04 AM, May 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 03:05:42-04

BAKERSFIELD,Calif. — On Monday night the Kern County Fair Board cleared up concerns about lack of funding, after receiving extra funds from the state.

As of now, they are still planning to host the fair in September.

Board members say they are remaining hopeful, but are ready to prepare for changes.

"I think we need a plan b and we need to be proactive in presenting something to the county and the fair early," said Lucas Espericueta, board financial officer for the Kern County Fair Board.

Members began brainstorming different ideas about changes that could be made to the fair to make sure it is safe for everyone.

Espericueta suggested a fair without rides but it would feature livestock, food, and music. Also, one suggestion considered is downsizing the fair.

"I am thinking the whole fair without fair attractions, the rides, and the games. I know that would take a lot from the fair experience for a lot of people, but that's not the whole fair" Espericueta said. "I think we could move the fair to a smaller form."

The fair is known to bring in funds for the fairgrounds, local non-profits, small businesses, and even future Farmers of America's students.

The board also discussed a virtual livestock bidding. Adding, other fairs have seen success and they already have a program they can use.

"We have the show works program, which Alameda is using them first. So they will be like a guinea pig for us to see how that works," said Dawn Stornetta, a livestock supervisor for the Kern County Fair.

"That would be the easiest for us because it's not costing us any extra money, and we aren't paying someone to do it. We already are paying for the program to start with, so we can do it in that system."

The fair board says it's hard to plan a fair when they're not sure what the restrictions will be as the fair gets closer.

Sharing it's up to Governor Gavin Newsom to determine when large gatherings will be allowed again.

The reality for the board is they have to decide on what's going to happen sooner than later.

"July needs to be our strike date and we need to end everything by July," Espericueta said. "Like we need to call an end to the fair or call to have it because that's when our contracts say we cancel without additional cost."

Monday's ideas were just apart of the brainstorming process and the board has not made any final decisions. Also, they are planning to create a committee that could focus on coming up with plan b for the fair.

The next meeting is scheduled for June 15.