SAUK RAPIDS -- Organizers of the Benton County Fair have started their initial committee work this month for some sort of event this summer, after last year's fair was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fair Board Vice President Al Stemper says it will most likely be a modified fair with attendance restrictions. He says they will need guidance from Benton County Health officials.

Are we going to be limited to how many we can have be in a space?  Certainly, we probably can't put 3,500 people in the grandstand for an event.  One of the things we'll have to wait and see is can we do those kinds of events and can we have an open fairgrounds?

He says several events will likely have to be scaled back.

And it may not be going to see the childrens barnyard and touch and feel and pet and be close to animals and people, but at least to experience the agricultural education side of things.  Or, walk the food booth area and get some of that fair food.

In a typical year, the Benton County Fair has more than 275 vendors on site.

The dates for this year's Benton County Fair are tentatively set for Tuesday, August 3rd through Sunday, August 8th, but Stemper says those dates are flexible and could be either shortened or extended depending on the types of events they are allowed to have on the fairgrounds this summer.

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