CHARLES CITY — The EF-1 tornado that damaged multiple buildings on the Floyd County Fairgrounds in May has not stopped this year’s festivities.
“We are on schedule,” said Floyd County Fair Board President Amy Staudt. “We really have been working hard out here.”
With winds at 110 mph, the tornado wiped out five buildings on the fairgrounds and damaged several others. The few that were damaged are already repaired, Staudt said.
The livestock barns and the grandstand remained intact, so the East Central Iowa Pullers, Figure 8 races and Demolition Derby entertainment are scheduled as usual.
The fairground buildings that housed chicken and rabbits, as well as its brick building, horticultural building, dairy barn and 4-H building were taken out by the storm.
For those showing those animals, Floyd County Fair Board Vice President Tim Paplow said rabbits and chickens will be brought in to show for the day but won’t stay on the fairgrounds.
Several tents and bandshells for entertainment are being set up to accommodate the missing buildings, which will mean outdoor seating for several events.
Foodstands will be moved to Youth Enrichment Center. Staudt was thankful the YEC escaped unscathed by the storm.
Despite the damage, Staudt said fairgoers can enjoy festivities as usual.
“(We’ve) just revamped a few things on the schedule,” Staudt said.
Even so, this year will see minor changes to the schedule of events.
Anyone hoping to bring baked goods, woodwork or other fare to the Open Show will have to wait until next year. However, Staudt said projects can still be sent to the Iowa State Fair.
Additionally, commercial food vending will not be a facet to this year’s fair, only local foodtrucks and vendors.
Following the storm, Paplow said the amount of people who showed up alleviated the clean up process.
“(We) got things cleaned up pretty fast,” Paplow said after excavators and volunteers arrived.
The fair board is meeting with the Iowa State Extension program to make plans for rebuilding after the fair. But right now, Staudt said their main focus is the fair.