ROSEBURG, Ore. – Two long-time summer traditions are back in Douglas County this summer: the Douglas County Fair and Music on the Half Shell.
Both events were canceled last year due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Organizers of the Douglas County Fair told KEZI 9 News that people can expect to see everything they love about the event, including the carnival, fair food, vendors, 4-H and FFA events and live music.
However, fairgrounds director Dan Hults said there will be some changes. For one, there will be no national music acts in order to prevent the gathering of large crowds.
Hults also said there may be fewer vendor and food booths because they will be spacing things out to allow for social distancing.
“We’re hoping to doll it up and make it as presentable as possible to the public, so when they come in they can have a good time and enjoy the fair,” said Hults.
Right now, Hults said these plans are not final. As COVID-19 restrictions continue to change, he said they will adjust.
Some Douglas County residents said they are excited the fair is back because it brings back some normalcy more than a year into the pandemic.
“I’m excited,” said Emily Smith. “My family really likes going. My kids love to see the animals, and my big kids love the rides. So we’re really excited.”
As for Music on the Half Shell, organizers said they got the OK from the city, the county and public health officials to hold the event because it is an outdoor venue. However, they said they will have a shortened line-up this year.
They said things will look pretty similar to years past, and they hope people to follow COVID-19 protocols, depending on whether they are vaccinated or not.
“Everybody has their own comfort level. You know people are going to do what they’re comfortable with. Now that everyone has access to vaccinations, it really uncomplicates things a lot,” said Music on the Half Shell president Clint Newell.
However, some Douglas County residents said they still have concerns people will not follow the rules.
“There are definitely some people that are probably going to show up there without a vaccine, maybe without a mask,” said Brent Rieger. “So it could be a concern. But I think for the people who are doing everything right, it’s probably a good thing to get into the groove of doing normal stuff again.”
The Douglas County Fair is slated for August 4 to 7, and the first concert for Music on the Half Shell will be on July 6.