Fair organizers excited for fair after 2020 cancellation

CASSOPOLIS — Every day, Cass County Fair President Brian Kuemin walks outside and is reminded that fair week is right around the corner.

All it takes is one familiar sight, sound or even smell to set him off and call to mind the smiles 4-H children, the smash of the demolition derby and the mouth-watering taste of fried fair food.

“I think I’m getting a little fair crazy,” Kuemin said with a laugh.

The reminders are welcome after COVID-19 put a halt to the 2020 Cass County Fair. Though fair officials were able to host limited events during the 2020 season, including its Fair Food Drive Thru and 4-H Show and Go, nothing could quite fill the hole of the canceled 2020 fair. Now that the 2021 fair is returning Aug. 1-7, Kuemin said those involved in putting the event together cannot wait.

“I think everybody is really excited,” Kuemin said. “This is an event we all look forward to every year, and we all missed it greatly.”

The year 2020 was a difficult one for Kuemin who is not only the Cass County Fair Board president, but the president of the Michigan Association of Fairs. One of one, he watched as fairs across the country were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When it came time to cancel the Cass County Fair, Kuemin said it was “devastating.”

“It really was a huge loss for a lot of people in our community, who give a lot of time and effort to putting this event together,” he said.

Despite the loss of the 2020 fair, Kuemin said the fair board never stopped planning for the 2021 event. With the fair right around the corner, Kuemin said he is looking forward to making up for lost time.

“I think the people involved with the fair might try to soak it in a little more maybe and not take everything that’s done for granted,” he said. “I’m looking forward to seeing those people who you only see once a year at the fair. I’m looking forward to seeing the smiles on the kids. I’m looking forward to seeing families having a great time, whether it is eating fair food or riding the rides, playing the games or hopefully getting some education about agriculture. It’s all of that that I’m really looking forward to.”

Not only is Kuemin excited about bringing back Cass County Fair staples, he is also looking forward to unveiling new features at the fairgrounds. Over the last year, the fair crew has been working on a number of improvements including a new covered riding horse show arena, re-asphalting and installing sidewalks on the fairgrounds.

No matter whether they are coming to see the new attractions or familiar favorites, Kuemin said he hopes community members come out and enjoy the 2021 Cass County Fair.

“I think the fair is going to be great,” he said. “I think we are going to have good attendance, and I tease my board that I’ve already put in the order for good weather, so I think everyone should come out and see what’s happening. I encourage everyone to come out and see all the great things happening in our community.”

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