Stoughton Fair July 2019

Aiden Beardin, 4, of Janesville, watches as a chick hatches in the Kiddie Barn at the Stoughton Fair on Wednesday, July 3.

For Stoughton area 4-H members, the Dane County Fair is one of the premiere annual showcases for their animals and projects.

Whether displaying cows and chickens they’ve raised or artwork and crafts they’ve made, the fair offers county 4-H members an opportunity for pride in and recognition of their work from the past year.

Except this year, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in all of the county’s fairs being canceled. The Dane County Fair moved online with virtual showcases, but for the club’s oldest members who would have shown their livestock and handiwork one last time, going online wasn’t quite the same experience as showing in-person.

But the Fair Board of Directors have created a solution, the 2020-Rona Club for aged-out youth, which gives these members the opportunity to exhibit at the 2021 Dane County Fair.

Under regular fair rules, exhibitors must not have reached their 20th birthday by Jan. 1 of that year to be eligible.

This extension means exhibitors must not have reached their 21st birthday by Jan. 1, 2021.

Enrollment for the 2020-Rona Club closes on Nov. 1, 2020.

Through the club, any youth exhibitor enrolled with a 2020 project who was aging-out of being eligible to compete in the fairs after this year will now be eligible to participate in the 2021 Dane County Fair in the same project area or areas, according to a news release.

This is a one-time exception only applying to the 2021 fair and is only open to any youth exhibitor who aged-out of participation this year.

“The Board of Directors fully realize there are a number of kids who have put in an enormous amount of preparation and planning in anticipation of exhibiting one last time at the Fair,” Darwin Lynde, President of the Dane County Fair Association, said. “With this extension, it will give them that opportunity in 2021.”

For details on the 2020-Rona Club, visit danecountyfair.com/pages/2020-Rona-Club.php. Questions regarding the club can be directed to danecountyfair2900@gmail.com.