It’s (virtually) fair time!
Oneida County Fair Committee plans weeks of online events
By Eileen Persike
The 2020 Oneida County Fair may have been canceled due to health concerns, but that doesn’t mean residents won’t be able to enjoy a fair amount of fun this summer.
A fair sub-committee brainstormed a virtual fair that takes place now through Aug 29. Opening day ceremonies were streamed live July 9 from Pioneer Park.
“The idea came from just trying to figure out how we can still have some sort of a fair even though we can’t have it physically,” said Oneida County Fair Coordinator Thomas Barnett. He and five others in the sub-committee discussed what a virtual fair would like and came up with several activities.
Rhinelander Mayor Chris Frederickson was one of the night’s featured speakers. He said the fair does his heart good.
“I real enjoy the fact that our community is creative and comes up with ways that they can still celebrate in the face of adversity, the face of a pandemic, that we’re going to step outside that and still have some fun,” he said.
Ongoing events include a “Find Ollie Oneida,” a bear dressed in a yellow fair t-shirt and face mask, who will be hidden somewhere in Oneida County. The challenge is to find Ollie, take a selfie and post #IFoundOllieOneida for a chance to win a gift certificate.
Every Saturday evening at 7 p.m., historian and Pioneer Park Historical Complex Director Kerry Bloedorn will take viewers on field trips to various historical locations in Oneida County. Interspersed throughout the weeks are activities such as the online version of men’s Sexiest Legs in a Kilt Contest and voting opportunities, Pets of Oneida County, a paranormal investigation, a craft demonstration by Girl Scout Troop #7055, and other games and live demonstrations.
For many, fair food is as big a part of the annual fair as the carnival and entertainment, so the fair committee is working with local restaurants, coffee shops and bakeries to make available special fair-themed treats.