BOZEMAN — In a typical year, the Big Sky Country State Fair is an event for hundreds of 4-H kids to showcase their hard work and passion.
This is why 4-H participants and parents were relieved when they heard the event still had the green light after the fair was canceled this year.
“It was really important for our family, and it was just a really positive spot. It was different for sure, but the goal was the same. The expectations of the kids were the same,” said Sheri Brown, a parent from Three Forks.
Major differences included social distancing and masks except for when kids were competing.
Another major change - a much smaller audience.
“We had to change up everything a little bit. So the public wasn’t allowed, but our leaders were very cool and they made this happen so we could have some finality to our year, said Lori Marx, a 4-H participant.
“One of the big things about 4-H is to educate. And we want to educate our public. And we didn’t get to really do that,” said Janaie Godin, the 4-H agent.
But the public still showed their support virtually.
“Last night was also the market sale which is usually when a ton of the public comes in, and this year we were really fortunate that we also had an online auction as well and an online option to bid,” said 4-H participant Jeana Marx.
“So even though they weren’t necessarily here in person it was definitely great to feel them in spirit here.”
Most importantly, parents and participants agreed, it was nice to have things feel somewhat normal.
“It was really nice to have 4-H because it could kinda be like a getaway from an online school or any online sports or stuff like that,”said Heidi Huber, another 4-H participant.
“ It was something you could do in person.”