LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Smaller crowds, less access and fewer hours are just a few of the changes that could give a 2020 Kentucky State Fair a completely different look under the cloud of COVID-19.
State Fair Board members discussed plans in a virtual meeting Thursday for a proposal to be submitted soon to Gov. Andy Beshear.
Kentucky State Fair Board Chairman Dr. Mark Lynn emphasized the ideas are preliminary and subject to change.
“You’ve got to put it all together; we’ve got to start someplace,” Lynn said. “So this is step one of what we’ve got. We know we have a deadline looming on can we even do this, that we would be allowed to have a fair at all. We’ve got a lot of those questions and will be meeting with Frankfort we hope very soon to come up with some of those answers and receive final guidelines on what we planned for.”
Plans discussed include masks and gloves for all staff and participants, wider aisles, limited access to livestock, barns and horse show areas. Freedom Hall could be closed to spectators.
Outdoors, access to Midway rides could be rotated as each would be cleaned regularly throughout the day and every night.
“We feel like it’s a very workable plan,” Kentucky State Fair Committee Chairman Joe Goggin said. “It accomplishes a lot of goals that preserve the core components of the state fair.”
There is still no guarantee the 2020 Kentucky State Fair will be allowed to open. The decision is expected to be made by mid-June.
State Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said he is hopeful.
"I am optimistic the Fair Board will be able to enter into a meaningful back and forth with Gov. Beshear and his administration as soon as possible,“ Quarles said. “I believe that if Kentucky can pull off a modified Derby, we can pull off a modified State Fair. I think I speak for the entire Kentucky State Fair Board when I say we all wish to work together to give Kentuckians something to look forward to this August.”