The Hardin County Community Fair & Horse Show pageants have been moved to Sept. 12 at the Hardin County Fairgrounds, but the date isn’t the only thing that’s changed.

“The pageant will definitely look different due to the virus,” said Linda Thomas, fair board member and pageant organizer. “We felt with the rise in numbers in the state and Hardin County, we would delay the pageants in hopes our numbers would decline by that time.”

The pageants had been scheduled for Saturday.

Organizers continue to watch the number of positive COVID-19 cases, and the date could be subject to change again. Thomas said organizers are hoping the pageants remain on Sept. 12.

The only pageants taking place are the ones were the winners advance to the state level, she said.

Those include the Pre­teen, Teen and Miss pageants but not the Little Miss or Mister, Thomas said.

Two guests per contestant are allowed to attend. Face masks are required as well as social distancing, Thomas said, adding hand sanitizer will be placed throughout the buildings. She said the event will adhere to all local and state guidelines.

“The girls will be spread out throughout the buildings at the fairgrounds to get dressed so that they are not all contained in one room,” Thomas said. “As each pageant ends they will be asked to leave so that we can sanitize and allow the next group to enter.”

There will be no opening number like past years and the girls will not change their clothing as many times to cut down on the time they are together, she said.

Thomas expects competitors will be impacted by not having a large audience to cheer them on.

“They are focused on doing their best on stage, and some say it’s easier to not have so many watching as it makes them more nervous,” she said. “These girls work hard to get ready to compete and, even though this year will be different, they seem to be excited to get to participate.”

Thomas said contestants can register until Sept. 5. Entries in all pageants must be a resident of Hardin County, and Miss Hardin County contestants must be between the ages of 16-21, and single. Registration forms can be found at hardincofair.com.

Fore more information, call 270-735-6054.

Becca Owsley can be reached at 270-505-1740 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.

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