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Getting cranky over keeping it fair

By Staff | May 17, 2020

OK, pardon me while I get a little bit cranky.

Maybe it is because I am sick of this whole stay at home thing. Perhaps it is because my hair is now getting in my eyes. But, actually, I think it is because I am an old guy, and old guys have a right to be cranky. Just because we are old.

But really, this whole COVID-19 pandemic thing is starting to drive me a little nuts.

I mean, are things going to open or not? There just seems to be little rhyme or reason to it all.

I?feel sorry for entities like the Faribault County Fair fairboard trying to decide whether they can, or should, have the fair this summer. Or not.

They spent most of their meeting last week discussing it, but found it was pretty hard to come to any kind of a decision.

I understand. The fair is at the end of July, more than two months away. What is life in Faribault County, Minnesota or the U.S., for that matter, going to be like two months from now? What rules are going to be in place then?

Hard to know.

The fairboard already has a bunch of things booked for this year’s fair. They start on the next year’s fair practically before a current fair is even over. Then they get serious about booking things in January.

So they had two big things to consider. First, should they have the fair in light of trying to keep everyone safe and healthy, from those who work at the fair to those who come and enjoy the fair.

And second, which choice makes the most sense financially. Putting on the fair is a huge financial investment, with not a lot of return, especially if crowds are light. It looks like their decision could be made this week.

Other groups have the same issues to confront. Giant Days, Kernel Days, ‘Bago Fun Fest, heck all the summer events are in the same boat.

Plan on having them, postpone them, or cancel them. Open the swimming pools or don’t. Have class reunions or not. Go travel somewhere or stay home.

So many decisions to be made. But Governor Tim Walz is still advocating being smart with social distancing and keeping group activities to 10 people or fewer. That order might help make a decision on whether to hold a summer festival, especially one set for June.

At least the governor is going to allow more businesses to open back up, if they follow safety rules.

I have not understood how a store like Menards in Mankato can be open and have hundreds of customers on a Saturday, yet our small businesses in our little towns, who only get a customer or two at a time on a normal day, have to be closed and suffer financially.

And why on Earth can a massive candy store open up and have hundreds of customers come in and yet little mom and pop stores are forced to stay closed.

And, as long as I am on a roll, how come the states now seem to be doing whatever the heck they want? I mean some are opening everything up, including bars and restaurants. Wisconsin just did that this week and the bars were packed. And Iowa opened up a bunch of businesses, including beauty shops and barbers.

Maybe some of us need a road trip to Iowa for a haircut. But I digress.

Then we have our president saying we should open up everything as soon as we can, but his own advisors say no, wait until the coronavirus numbers dip down.

The president even wants to open schools. What, with only a couple of weeks left in the school year? Does that make sense? Might as well keep them closed and wait for fall.

Well, you get the idea.

I know that no matter what all of our governments decide we should or should not do, it is still a time for caution.

Sure, our small county has only had nine cases of COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean we should not be cautious and be smart with social distancing and not gathering in large groups.

That especially goes for travel out of town or going places large groups of people are going to gather. I am not sure I would go to a Minnesota Twins game, for instance, if they indeed start up play in July as they say.

Watch them on TV at home, yes. Go to a packed Target Field, no.

So there you go. Thanks for letting me get all that off my chest. I am glad we are getting a little bit back to normal, whatever that normal is going to be in the future.

At some point decisions will have to be made about what can be open, what events can be held and which ones should not be held.

Which brings us back to the county fair. Do you think the fair should go on as usual, or be cancelled? If it is held, will you go?

You can take our online poll question this week and let us and the fairboard know how you feel.

Until next week, stay healthy.