So the Fair is “Modified,” now what?


Labor day in Flagstaff means the Coconino County Fair

Or at least until this year… ya know, COVID and all. Per the latest press release, “Coconino County Parks and Recreation is modifying the 71st Coconino County Fair due to COVID-19 concerns. This decision was reached after months of deliberation, research, and consultation with local health officials and the Board of Supervisors. Several county fairs in Arizona have canceled their events this year due to COVID-19 safety concerns.” The committee that is in charge of our Fair doesn’t want to just cancel another event, especially one this big! They/ we still want you, our community, involved and excited that there are offerings for this year’s Fair.

What does that look like?

To be honest, some of that is still up in the air. BUT, there are other Fairs around the country that are planning and doing alternate/ virtual contests. Coconino County is taking some pages from these other fairs and adding our fav ideas. The desire is for this year’s in-person event to focus on the 4-H exhibitors and junior livestock auction. But not to forget our other entrants: Instead of bringing in a cookie made from your mom’s recipe of the best chocolate chip cookie you’ve ever had, send in a recipe in the designated category with your tips and tricks for use in an online cookbook. Instead of agonizing over picking the best flower from your garden and bringing it in before it wilts, you send a picture of the whole garden. Instead of going through the struggle of printing and backing your fav photo from the last year, you send in it digitally.

The superintendents (did I mention that I am in that group) are busy finalizing categories for this year’s fair. Categories even include things that aren’t usually considered for Fair entries! An entire table setting! Something that’s too big to bring to the fairgrounds! Antics your cat or dog has gotten into! Photo-shop yourself with the Fair mascot, Coco the cow! We are working hard at figuring out what will work so that you, our community, can still be a part of the County Fair! We want this to be a fun experience for all who enjoy the Fair!

Cool, What do I do?

Keep checking! The idea is that people who want to enter will go there, fill out the online entry form, pick your department, select the category and upload your picture all in one space. Simple!

What’s next? After the entry period, the pictures will be compiled and sent to the appropriate judge. Judges filter through all those pictures and will then pick their winners.

Then? Yes, I’m glad you asked! Then, during what would be the Fair weekend (Fri Sept 4 – Mon Sept 7), winners of each category will be announced live on Facebook/ Instagram at a predetermined time for each department and posted on the Coconino County Fair web-sight. Did I mention that there’s a bit of prize money up for grabs? How cool is that?!

So, Next year?

Here’s hoping by the time the 72nd annual Coconino County Fair rolls around that we will be able to enjoy each other’s company without feeling like the world has cooties! So keep wearing your mask and keep working on your projects, taking pictures, planting your garden, saving your kid’s (school) art… I want to see it all in person next year!

Also, the Fair committee is looking for one or two more people to help Superintend buildings. Fair Superintendents make a positive difference in the County Fair. This includes working before during and after the fair. They connect the greater community to the Fair by encouraging individuals to submit entries and exhibits, organize workshops in the buildings that encourage community interest in a specific subject, and overall foster goodwill. There is a small stipend paid to superintendents after the completion of the fair. If you, or someone you know, have an interest in photography (currently vacant) or in-home arts (Home Economics – sewing, crochet, knit other needle arts, canning, baking, etc) there are openings in those buildings. Contact [email protected]

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Christina Rankin
Christina Rankin was born and raised in Flagstaff, but her family had a 10 year adventure in central PA. Wife to a wonderful husband, together they have four children, three daughters and one son. She has rheumatoid arthritis, but is determined to not let the RA have her. Christina is active in her church and community with a heart for kids. Christina graduated from NAU in 2002 with a degree in Elementary Ed and has worked with kids at a daycare in Pennsylvania. When the fair comes around, you can find her in the Home Ec building as the superintendent and during the Christmas season she is an elf at the North Pole, in her free time she is an avid crocheter, likes hiking, and loves spending time with her family.