CHARLES CITY, Iowa - Wednesday is the official kick off of the Floyd County Fair, the first one after a tornado in May leveled some buildings. But despite the damage, the fair has adapted, and will continue on as planned.
Since the tornado on Memorial Day, volunteers have been picking up the pieces. Most of the festivities are going on as normal, including all 4-H and livestock shows, with some of the buildings that were destroyed are being replaced with tents. At the Youth Enrichment Center, the open class division indoor vendor tables have been cancelled, in favor for more indoor space. Another change as a result of the the tornado: poultry and rabbit shows will be brought in on show day and released following the show, not staying on site.
Nathan Schultz is a member of the Charles City FFA chapter, and has been pitching in cleaning up the fairgrounds since the storm.
"Our president was like, 'a tornado went through the fairgrounds.' And we were like, 'no way.' He lives a couple miles down the road, and he came by after the ordeal and showed us, and we were like, 'I know how we're going to spend the last three weeks of school and our summer.'"
But volunteer efforts aren't the only thing to be thankful for. The community and local businesses have been raising funds to replace the demolished buildings as well, with the FFA helping on that front as well.
"It's been little bits and pieces, asking for donations or helping anybody out that we can. It's little bits and pieces that can build up over time."
Fair board president Amy Staudt says they will begin design plans of the new buildings at next month's board meeting.