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Oneida County Fair Going Virtual, Featuring Interactive GamesSubmitted: 07/01/2020
Story By Morgan Johnson

Oneida County Fair Going Virtual, Featuring Interactive Games
RHINELANDER - You may have heard that the Oneida County fair is canceled this year due to COVID-19.

Just recently fair organizers including Tom Barnett and Meg Sprecksel announced the fair will still happen--but virtually.

Fair treasurer Meg Sprecksel said the idea of having a virtual fair rather than not having a fair at all came as a surprise.

"After our decision to cancel the fair, we saw some other fairs going virtual, and it enticed us," she said.

The fair's Facebook page, Instagram, and website (ocfairwi.com) will encourage people of all ages to participate, even if it's not physically in-person.

While traditional fair games are primarily kid-friendly, Sprecksel said the virtual fair is different.

"The virtual fair is absolutely for all ages. We're going to have sexiest legs in a kilt contest, we're going to have a talent show, they'll be different fair foods that will be offered at local restaurants. It's going to be a blast for everyone," said Sprecksel.

In addition to the interactive online games, Ollie Oneida, a social distancing bear, will be hidden in spots around town each week where participants can look for him, take a selfie, and get a chance to win a prize.

Sprecksel said their biggest goal with having the virtual fair is to show the community how the fair unties the city year after year.

The fair will be every week starting on July 9 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and go until August 28.

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THREE LAKES -

Students and parents have been patiently waiting to hear from local school districts on what classes will look like in the fall.

Last night, the Three Lakes School District flipped the script, they instead took questions from community members to hear their concerns.

Educating is a stressful job, now imagine trying to plan a school year around a global pandemic, and combine that with answering questions from nearly 130 parents in one night. That's a day in Teri Maney's shoes.

"It was truly a listening session...this was laying the groundwork so people have an idea of what we're planning and thinking about at the district," Maney said. 

 Those plans primarily aim to have students back in the classroom full time.

 "That would be our goal to return on site five days a week," she added. 

But with COVID-19 showing no signs of letting up in the U.S. backup plans will be in place for any changes.

"Our next level would be a blended approach," Maney added, "We're keeping our primary focus on elementary students being on site and that might mean for our junior high and high school, a little shift of scheduling."

Three Lakes would then approach any positive cases in the district through guidelines from Oneida and Vilas county health officials.

"We also have a plan for if we would have a positive identification in a grade level, or a teacher, or if there's a teacher. We would not want to shut down the entire district," Maney explained. 

But if things don't go as planned, Three Lakes will be fully prepared for online classes.

"The last level, level four, that would be fully remote instruction."

The school board will vote on Monday night at 6:30 whether or not they will continue with the district's plan. 


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