SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING RIBFEST AND COVID-19: RIBFEST 2020 CANCELED
Walworth County Fair, Ribfest Cancelled ELKHORN, Wisc. (July 23, 2020) – After much deliberation, the Walworth County Agricultural Society board voted Wednesday to cancel this year’s Ribfest and the 171st Walworth County Fair.
“The board was concerned these events could pose a risk to Walworth County residents by attracting visitors from areas with much higher COVID-19 infection rates,” said Larry Gaffey, Walworth County Fairgrounds general manager. “Ribfest and the fair are the largest events we hold at the fairgrounds, attracting people from as far away as Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and other counties in Wisconsin. The board feared the influx of visitors could strain the county’s public health system.”
Organizers had worked with the Walworth County Department of Health & Human Services to develop health and safety plans to make the two events as safe as possible. Both the fair and Ribfest had been reimagined to reduce congestion and enable easy social distancing. Events had been moved outdoors and the carnival had been spread out to reduce congestion.
However, the board became more concerned about the risk of infection as the number of COVID-19 cases increased steadily in surrounding states and other parts of Wisconsin.
“We are concerned about the public health, but also feel an obligation to the young people who have spent a year or more raising livestock, doing photography, gardening crops, woodworking and working on arts and crafts,” said Gaffey. “COVID-19 stole part of a school year from these kids. We will not allow it to ruin their dream projects as well.” He said smaller events hosted by independent event organizers remain scheduled for the fairgrounds. These independent events attract mainly local visitors. The 171-year-old fair is one of the longest-running events in Wisconsin and typically attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to Elkhorn.
For more information about the Walworth County Fairgrounds, visit https://www.walworthcountyfair.com.
Come join us in 2021 for 4 days of unbelievably delicious, mouthwatering barbecue and high quality entertainment located on the beautiful Walworth County Fairgrounds. This event features world renowned professional BBQ champions, back yard grillers, great entertainment, an artisan village and so much more. Not only will you experience some of the best BBQ in the world, but there will be other fun enriching experiences. After you have had your fill of food, kick back and enjoy some live music and a cold beer or two. And don't forget about the carnival rides!
This event benefits:
GOOD FOOD! GOOD MUSIC! GOOD TIMES!
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS!