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The Benton County Fair announces modified 2020 event schedule

There will be no food, music or carnival at this year’s event. Livestock competitions and other events will be streamed online for virtual attendance.

BENTONVILLE, Ark — The 116th Annual Benton County Fair has adjusted its schedule to focus on livestock competitions and other exhibitor entries only and will have no food, music or carnival at this year’s event.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the public is being asked to attend the fair online to support local youth agriculture via streaming shows and the virtual Junior Livestock Premium Auction Aug. 7-13 at www.cmcauctions.com.

“We are disappointed to have to limit our schedule and attendance to exhibitors and immediate family only,” said Ashley Hays, Benton County Fair Board President. “We were advised by the Arkansas Department of Health and the Arkansas Agriculture and Poultry Commission to scale back our event given the number of COVID cases in Northwest Arkansas.

In 2019, $167,000 was raised through the auction to support 139 local youth to assist with their livestock projects and to further their education after high school.

All fair exhibitors, exhibitor family members, volunteers and staff are required to wear a face-covering while at the fairgrounds and to follow CDC health guidelines.

“We are fortunate to have modern facilities and a large 60-acre campus to help exhibitors spread out,” said Susan Koehler, Fair and Events Manager. “We are planning to take advantage of our space accepting items for the exhibit hall via a drive-thru process. We want Benton County residents who might not be familiar with the fair, and our long-time exhibitors to feel safe participating.”

Due to State Veterinary recommendations, the Rabbit Show will also take place online.

Visit the fair’s Facebook page to watch the Benton County Fair Virtual Rabbit Show. For a digital copy of the fair book visit www.bentoncountyfairar.org.

For more information and to see event times visit bentoncountyfairar.org

RELATED: 2020 Arkansas State Fair canceled due to coronavirus concerns

RELATED: 2020 Arkansas Oklahoma State Fair canceled due to coronavirus pandemic

Schedule (subject to change)

Saturday, Aug. 1

  • Pageant
  • Decorated bakery items due and judged

Sunday, Aug. 2


Monday, Aug. 3

  • Dairy Goats
  • Sheep 

Tuesday, Aug. 4

Market Goats

Wednesday, Aug. 5

Dairy Cattle

  • Exhibit Hall judging complete 
  • ribbon and display viewing

Thursday, Aug. 6

All beef: registered/commercial/market

Friday, Aug. 7

  • Hogs
  • Virtual Junior Livestock Auction

Sunday, Aug. 9

Exhibit Hall item check out

Thursday, Aug. 13

Virtual Junior Livestock Auction live-bidding

For more information about exhibiting and online entry visit www.bentonar.fairwire.com.

Online entries are due by 12:00 p.m. on July 31.

The Benton County Fair will be limiting traffic entry points. Livestock exhibitors are asked to use the west gate off Hwy. 279. Exhibit Hall exhibitors are asked to use the east gate off Barron Rd.

Pageant contestants and family will use the south gate off Regional Airport Blvd. and park on the midway by the Auditorium.

CMCAUCTIONS.com will live-stream all livestock shows, which can be found under the Live Video tab. To register for the auction, click login/register. To bid, click on Benton County Fair under Current Auctions. Under each lot, there is a blue bid button. For more information check out Tutorials on the site. Pre-bidding starts Aug. 7 at 7:00 p.m. Live bidding starts Aug. 13 at 7:00 p.m. Each lot will be sold live online.