As we head into this holiday weekend, I want to congratulate the organizers of two of the biggest events on the Flagstaff calendar for their ingenuity in bringing us virtual versions of these annual celebrations.
For fans of the Coconino County Fair, it’s not easy to capture the sounds, smells and thrills of the Fair, but the folks at Coconino County Parks & Recreation have done their best to bring the experience into your home.
Would you like to see the 4-H Livestock Show? How about 7-plus hours of steers, pigs, goats and lambs right here. (They’ll also be hosting the auction over these next three days online).
Looking for live entertainment? There’s a full lineup which you can enjoy on the Fair’s YouTube, Facebook or Instagram platforms. And if you are hankering for a corn dog or something deep-fried, head over to the Flagstaff Mall, where the Fair Food Drive Up allows you to pick up some of your favorite guilty pleasures before settling down for the online event.
You can get the full Fair schedule at coconinocountyfair.com.
Later this month, it will be Festival of Science‘s turn to not let coronavirus get in the way of a beloved annual event. Over 10 days, SciFest will again connect and inspire residents and visitors to Northern Arizona with the wonders of science and the joy of discovery, using a mix of online and social distanced in-person events.
For example, the festival will livestream its keynote address by Christa Sadler, an Earth scientist who will share her world of exploration and discovery in search of dinosaurs, past civilizations and clues about the future of our planet. The address will be followed by a live, remote Q&A session.
There also will be geocaching at Fort Tuthill, educational exhibits at The Arboretum and a “Cloud Walk” with a National Weather Service meteorologist at Buffalo Park. Reservations, social distancing and masks will typically be required, but it is a chance to get outside and enjoy the wonders of nature and science.
Although officially held between Sept. 18 – 27, there are several pre-festival bonuses as well as free kits for kids to bring home. For more information and a schedule of events, go to scifest.org.
I’ve been impressed again and again at how we’ve been able to adapt to the restrictions caused by COVID-19. The disruption caused by coronavirus is very real, but I also feel very fortunate to live in a place where innovation is part of the community DNA and people are working tirelessly to make it possible for us to continue to enjoy some of things that make northern Arizona so special.