Washington County Fair

Folks leave the first performance of the Washington County Fair Rodeo on Saturday in Arlington.

Barns typically filled with animals remained empty. There was no carnival. The headlining concert canceled.

But the show went on for the Washington County Fair.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, fairgoers still enjoyed 4-H shows, a concert and rodeo this past weekend in Arlington.

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Adriana Hernandez of Fort Calhoun shows her chicken to a judge for senior showmanship during the poultry show Friday at the Washington County Fair.

4-Hers still showed their animals, including poultry, sheep, goats, dairy cattle and horses. However, the format for the event was different due to the pandemic. Animals didn't remain on the fairgrounds, rather, 4-Hers showed and then took them home.

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Crowds moved close to the stage as the Dylan Bloom Band entertained crowds at the Washington County Fair Friday.

Luke Mills and the Dylan Bloom Band kicked off the fair with a concert in the main arena Friday. They replaced country crooners Granger Smith and Logan Mize, who were originally to be the headlining act.

The crowd filled the arena around standing tables spread 6 feet apart. At the end of his opener, Mills invited the crowd to dance to his land song.

For the Dylan Bloom Band, the crowd moved close to the stage, full of energy and excitement. 

Friday's crowd, in general, seemed to trickle in. Food stands were not overly crowded.

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Libby Hegemann edges a barrel as she competes in the barrel racing competition Saturday during the 4-H horse show at the Washington County Fair in Arlington.

Though some people wore masks, many were not nervous to attend.

"I've never had many concerns about this to be honest," Phil Lang said. "Certain people should be concerned but I'm not concerned."

Kelly Wehmeyer was waiting for the concert to start and watching her 1-year-old, Stetson, play in the dirt.

"I've been working through all of it, so I'm not too worried about it," she said. 

On Saturday, the crowd was slightly smaller for the rodeo, however, spectators packed into one side of the bleachers, while few sat on the opposite side.

Fairgoers enjoyed ribs, pork loin and other fare during the annual backyard barbecue contest on Sunday.

A second night of rodeo was held Sunday.

Other planned events included the antique tractor and pickup pull Monday and the Golden Harvest tractor pull Tuesday.

The Washington County Fair wraps up Wednesday with the livestock auction at 4 p.m.

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