Change is different ...

Tuesday, June 29, 2021
Mark Evans

Someone I once worked with liked to say “Change is different,” and liked to use the phrases “paradigm shift” and “Think outside the box” and you know all of those clichés.

There are times one loves change for variety and spice to life. It certainly occurs in Extension, which allows one to enjoy the job as each and every day brings new adventures. There are other times when change forces one out of the comfort zone and dread sets into action. And then there is the dreaded change for the sake of change.

Thankfully, 2021 is looking to be a lot different with changes from 2020 in terms of the county fair being closer to what most would consider “normal” for the annual event. The Putnam County Fair, as always, is the last full week of July and will open Friday, July 23 and conclude on Friday, July 30. Like usual, there will be several pre-fair events as well.

The Indiana State Fair will have several changes from what most would consider normal. It will be a much longer event, but will have days of closure during the event. For example, on Mondays and Tuesdays the state fair will be closed. Opening day of the state fair will be on Wednesday, July 28 and extend through Sunday, Aug. 22.

Different from past years, 4-H projects will actually be entered in the state fair while it is open and occurring. Foods, for example, will have open judging rather than closed judging if individuals would like to be present with the judge. Static display entry except garden- and food-related projects will be going to the state fair at the conclusion of the Putnam County Fair. With the exception of baked and preserved foods, all other non-animal state fair exhibits will be entered between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 31.

More info will continue to be shared about state fair entry processes. Otherwise, please pay close attention to the county fair entry and judging times. For 4-H projects, these entry times for the county fair are found on page 53 of the Putnam 4-H Handbook and have been emailed via 4honline emails in recent weeks as well. For the most part, these have not changed. For larger county fair projects, we may be suggesting arrival times to help space people out during the judging time.

Visit or contact the local Extension office at 653-8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. Evening and lunch appointments are available upon request.

Upcoming Events

June 29 – Walking group, 9 a.m., Big Walnut Sports Park

June 29 – Photography 4-H workshop, 6-7 p.m., Harris Hall - Putnam County Fairgrounds

June 30 – Summer Soil Health PARP, 9 a.m., Putnam County Fairgrounds, $10 for credit, register at

July 14 – ServSafe one-day class and online exam, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Putnam County Fairgrounds, register at

July 19 – Fall Gardening -- Reaping the Benefits of Cool Weather webinar, noon, register at

July 23-30 – Putnam County Fair

July 28 – Indiana State Fair opens

Aug. 2 – National Night Out 4-H station, Putnam County Fairgrounds

Aug. 22 – Last day of Indiana State Fair

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