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Floyd County fair set to go on as normal following Memorial Day tornado

NEAR CHARLES CITY, Iowa (FOX 47) – While flood damage recovery has been the more immediate concern across much of our region, some places are still dealing with tornado damage from May.

That includes the Floyd County fairgrounds, which saw a half dozen buildings damaged or destroyed. That destruction means this year’s fair will have a different look from years past, but  organizers say all the fun activities and events will go on as normal.

The Memorial day tornado hit the fairground buildings just six weeks before the scheduled fair opening, not leaving much time to clean up the damage.

“The focus up till now has been taking down things that were going to be a safety issue or a functionality issue,” said Floyd County Fair Board Treasurer Craig Anderson.

Five of the damaged buildings have been torn down so far, including the dairy barn, rabbit and poultry building, and the 4-H food stand. All that remain are concrete slabs. A sixth building is scheduled for demolition after the fair.

But despite all that, organizers say the show will go on.

“All our entertainment is still on, all our livestock shows are still on,” said Anderson. “We may have to move a little bit of livestock around.”

But, some things will be a little different this year and fair-goers are being asked to be patient.

“Traffic flow is going to be different this year,” said Anderson. “There’s going to be a little bit of a learning curve for everybody this year because it’s nothing the fair board has dealt with either.”

What’s needed most now is help getting ready.

“We’ve been asked a lot, ‘what can people do, what do we need’,” said Anderson. “As much as anything, we need volunteers during the fair. It still takes a lot of people to put this all together.”

Anderson says he’s thankful for all the community support they’ve gotten so far, especially with cleanup and monetary donations. He also went on to say that if there was significant damage to the beef and swine barn, the fair might have been canceled this year.

If you are interested in volunteering, click here to contact the fairgrounds.

Sarah Gannon

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