LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - It's been almost two years since fairgoers experienced the Kentucky State Fair the way it normally operates.

The COVID-19 pandemic made for a dialed back, limited adaptation of the Bluegrass tradition.

In August, those familiar thrills of the fair will return.

"We're planning for a full fair as we did pre-COVID," said Kentucky Venues President and CEO David Beck.

Since the last "normal" state fair, there have been many upgrades to the fairgrounds. Buildings have been remodeled, parking areas have changed and a new entry gate was installed for easier access.

"To have wayfinding, to have signage, to have scanning capabilities, all of that goes to help enhance the guest experience," Beck said.

The Kentucky traditions at the state fair will remain much like it did pre-pandemic.

"We'll have all the educational exhibits in place, we'll have over 11,000 animals here," Beck said. "We'll have all the culinary, the arts, and we'll have a concert every night."

Those hoping to win the coveted blue ribbon prize for their craft can now enter their masterpieces for the fair here. 

While masks and physical distancing will no longer be required at the fair, officials say all of those safety precautions are welcomed for any individual.

Kentucky Venues officials say they're prepared if COVID-19 numbers in the state were to get worse by the start of the state fair.

"We're certified to deal with infectious diseases and have the right protocols," Beck said. "We were able to demonstrate that with last year's state fair."

The Kentucky State Fair begins Aug. 19 and runs through Aug. 29.

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