Organizers Considered Various Options For Linn County Fair

By Heather Hubbs, Reporter

CENTRAL CITY, Iowa -- The fun of the Linn County Fair has been called off as the town of Central City prepares for record flooding.

The fair was supposed to start Wednesday, but flooding has forced the cancellation of most of the 125th annual celebration.

"It was a huge decision – it was very difficult," said fair organizer Heidi Steffen. "But we had to weigh all options. We really had to weigh the safety of everyone that would be on the fairgrounds."

Steffen said various options were considered to host fair events. "We looked at options as far as in Central City, moving everything to the Delaware County faigrounds, other locations possibly in Cedar Rapids," Steffen said. "You have to take into consideration -- it takes a full year to plan the fair. There's a lot of little events, and then we're completely run by volunteers. Logistically, how were we going to move things?"

The grandstand area was already beginning to flood Wednesday night, and based on current projections, Steffen said she's anticipating flooding in the grounds' indoor arena, which has never experienced flooding before.

That arena was set to host some of the fair's livestock events.

The fair was still able to do 4-H static judging Wednesday, along with the annual barbeque and the queen coronation. All the other 4-H livestock events have been moved to the Delaware County fairgrounds, starting at 10 a.m. Thursday.

And many of the events planned for this year's fair will be rescheduled for next year, Steffen said.

"Everyone's been really great as far as the livestock committees," Steffen said. "They're excited they're still able to show. They've put so much time and effort into these livestock, and they're still able to showcase them."

Those having tickets for grandstand events at this year's Linn County Fair will be able to exchange them for a comparable event at the 2014 fair, officials said.
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