Klamath Falls, Ore. – Gates at the Klamath County Fairgrounds are cracking back open to a few events, but it’s not business as usual.
“We are currently at 98% shutdown.” Notes Fairgrounds Manager Derrick Rowley. “We just recently started opening up to horse rides, barrel racing.”
“It’s just really hard.” Adds Fairgrounds Manager Todd Hoggarth. “There’s not much we can do for anybody. I mean, we ARE mass gatherings – it’s what we are.”
While the Klamath County Fair has been cancelled, at least one element will continue this summer.
“We are going to hold the Klamath County 4H – FFA livestock auction and show.” Rowley states.
Hoggarth points out some adjustments will need to be made. “We’ll have to do some tweaking to the grounds, but with the rest of the fair being shut down, it allows us a lot more area to put the kids, and to allow the social distancing that’s going to be necessary.”
The managers say the economic impact of the shutdown is likely to extend beyond the fairgrounds to local motels and restaurants.
“The community, or the town is going to lose probably two million dollars in income.” Estimated Hoggarth. “If not more.”
Among the events scheduled for the Klamath County Fairgrounds in the near future is graduation ceremonies for Henley High School.
Henley’s commencement is scheduled for the afternoon of Sunday, June 7th, at 3.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970’s. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.Lyle’s job history is quite colorful.
He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90’s as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.
“The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story”.
When he’s not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.