Amid Pandemic, Brown County Fair Is a Welcome and Rare Distraction

Sept. 3, 2020, 2:13 p.m. ·


A county fair in north central Nebraska is set to get underway Friday, one of the few fairs across the state that will be able to hold a regular event this summer. The Brown County Fair in Johnstown, just west of Ainsworth, runs through Monday and will include a livestock show, rodeo and live music. Dave Sherman is the president of the Brown County Ag Society and says they’re prepared to keep things safe.

“We have a lot of things set up, our hand wash stations and of course all the signage and social distancing and all that stuff,” Sherman said. “Everybody has had a long old summer and we need a little reprieve, so I guess here we are.”

Brown County has had very few cases of COVID-19 and is in Phase 4 of reopening, which allows for larger gatherings. Sherman says one event at the fair had to be modified because of the pandemic.

“We’re not holding our dances, so we’ll not indoor dances where you get 300, 400, 500 people all in one building,” Sherman said. “We’re doing them as an outdoor venue of just music entertainment in the arena, so there will be all kinds of room.”

Sherman says they actually expect record crowds for the fair and rodeo.