BENTONVILLE, AR — The 116th Annual Benton County Fair August 4-8,2020 has adjusted its schedule to focus on Livestock competitions and other exhibitor entries only. Due to the ongoing COVID pandemic the public is being asked to attend the fair online and support local youth agriculture via streaming shows and the virtual Junior Livestock Premium Auction August 7 through 13, at www.cmcauctions.com. In 2019, $167,000 was raised through the auction to support 139 local youth to assist with their livestock projects, and further their education post high school.
“We are disappointed to have to limit our schedule and attendance to exhibitors and immediate family only,” said Ashley Hays, Benton County Fair Board President. “We were advised by the Arkansas Department of Health and the Arkansas Agriculture and Poultry Commission to scale back our event given the number of COVID cases in Northwest Arkansas. We want to thank our sponsors past and present for their support during this difficult year including Walmart and Sam’s Club, McKee Foods, Simmons, Heritage Tractor, Sunbelt Rentals, Farm Bureau Benton County, and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette for publishing our Fair Book. We are also excited about the shows and virtual Junior Livestock Premium Auction being virtual. We appreciate all the work of the sale committee to make this happen for the youth.”
All fair exhibitors, exhibitor family members, volunteers and staff are required to wear a face covering or mask over their nose and mouth while at the fairgrounds, and to follow CDC health guidelines including social distancing. Social distancing at the Benton County Fair means staying 6 feet – one cow, two pigs or three goats apart from other non-family members. The modified schedule is open to registered exhibitors only and limited immediate family. There is no food, music or carnival planned at this year’s event. Livestock will not stable over through the week being checked in and released daily.
Due to State Veterinary recommendations, the Rabbit Show will also take place online. Please visit Facebook for Benton County Fair Virtual Rabbit Show.
SCHEDULE AT A GLANCE (REMAINS SUBJECT TO CHANGE)
Saturday, August 1
8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pageant
8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Exhibit Hall Most Department Check-in (SENIORS ONLY)
11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Exhibit Hall Most Departments Check-in (ALL AGES) ** Decorated Bakery Items Due and Judged)
Sunday, August 2
9 a.m. Benton County Fair Horse Show
Monday, August 3
Dairy Goats Check In 7-9 a.m. (11:30 a.m. Approx. Show Time)
Sheep Check In 11 a.m.-1 p.m. 3:30 p.m. Approx. Show Time)
Tuesday, August 4
Market Goats Check In 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. (11:30 am Approx. Show Time)
Flowers accepted Exhibit Hall 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Wednesday, August 5
Dairy Cattle Check In 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. (11:30 am Approx. Show Time)
Exhibit Hall Judging Complete Ribbon and Display Viewing 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Senior Citizen Exhibitors and immediate family Only – Noon to 8 p.m. All other Exhibitors and immediate family
Thursday, August 6
All beef-Registered/Commercial/Market Check In 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. (Approx. Show time 11:30 a.m.)
Friday, August 7
All hogs check in 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. (Approx. Show Time 11:30 a.m.)
Virtual Junior Livestock Auction begins 7 p.m.
Sunday, August 9
Exhibit Hall Item Check Out 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Thursday, August 13
Virtual Junior Livestock Auction Live Bidding 7 p.m.
For more information about exhibiting and online entry visit www.bentonar.fairwire.com.
Online entries are due by noon July 31. There are lots of fun classes for youth and adults from entomology (insect collecting) to table setting. Or submit prize vegetables or flowers from new gardening hobbies from family time at home. 4H and Future Farmers of America membership is NOT required to enter non-livestock fair exhibits. Exhibitors may also enter items at the fairgrounds in person. View a digital copy of the fair book.
Even with thousands of fewer people on the fair campus, additional measures are being taken to clean high traffic areas, disinfect the livestock barn, and exhibitors will be asked to follow designated entryways and exits. Family supporting exhibitors are asked to practice social distancing when in contact with others. “We are fortunate to have modern facilities and a large 60-acre campus to help exhibitors spread out,” said Susan Koehler, Fair and Events Manager. “We are planning to take advantage of our space accepting items for the exhibit hall via a drive thru process. We want Benton County residents who might not be familiar with the fair, and our long-time exhibitors to feel safe participating.”
The Benton County Fair will be limiting traffic entry points. Livestock exhibitors are asked to use the west gate off HWY 279. Exhibit Hall exhibitors are asked to use the east gate off Barron Rd. Pageant contestants and family will use the South gate off Regional Airport Blvd. and park on the midway by the Auditorium.
CMCAUCTIONS.com will also live stream all livestock shows. Visit their site and look for shows under Live Video tab. Or check out CMCAUCTIONS on Facebook or You Tube. To register for the auction from the site click login/register. Complete information and validate phone number, update billing info. To bid click on Benton County Fair under Current Auctions. Under each lot there is a blue bid button. For more information check out Tutorials on the site. Pre-bidding starts August 7 at 7p.m. Live bidding starts August 13 at 7 p.m. Each lot will be sold live online.
ABOUT THE BENTON COUNTY FAIR
BCFA, Inc. is a charitable tax exempt 501(c)3 organization that is dedicated to promoting youth development and respect for cultural diversity. The mission of the Benton County Fair is to provide the best county fair possible. It provides a gathering place for all communities to showcase their products and skills. It creates educational, social, cultural and economic opportunities to preserve and promote agriculture and traditions across the county. The Benton County Fair provides the most valuable, educational and entertaining experience that resources will allow. Supporting 4-H, FFA and Youth of Benton County to showcase project work of crafts, baking, canning, gardening and livestock to the general public. Operations of the fairground’s facilities are to serve the community by providing multipurpose use for both generating public and private events fostering economic and tourism development in Northwest Arkansas. The Benton County Fair Board includes: Ashley Hays, president, Robert Smith, vice president, Charlene Newell, secretary, Carla Martinez, treasurer, Clint Bowen, Tim Craig, Jim Griffin, Chris Graves, Deb Lindsay, Frank Myers, Ken Myers, Jacob Payne, Robert Smith, Dr. Duane Thomas, Charles Coffelt and Anji Peacock.