MISSISSIPPI COUNTY, Ark. (KAIT) - Many things have been canceled or postponed due to COVID-19, and with fair season around the corner, there is still some uncertainty about whether fairs will take place.
“We still don’t know for sure if we’re going to be able to have a fall fair,” Mississippi County Fair Manager Ray Lawrence said.
The annual fair brings young and old alike to Walker Park in Blytheville. But it may not take place this year.
“Because of the COVID-19 epidemic and being restricted to 50 people,” Lawrence said.
The Mississippi County Fair Board already canceled the Spring Carnival which usually helps pay some bills.
“That money that we generate off of that carnival will go to pay our insurance for our buildings and what have you,” Lawrence said.
If the group cancels this year’s fall fair, he says the tradition could become a thing of the past.
“Because we have another liability policy that we have to carry, so someone gets hurt, something happens out here,” Lawrence said. “And we use the fall fair money to pay for that.”
Lawrence and Fair Vice President Percy Wright agreed it’s the people who will lose out.
“You know this helps this community, as well,” Wright said. “It gives our children here something to do.”
They said it may be the only time some kids in the Blytheville area will ever step foot inside a fair.
“I would like for every kid in Mississippi County to have that opportunity,” Wright said. “And that’s kind of what I look for when I come up on this board.”
People can help by donating to the fair.
“Nothing is too big or too small for a financial donation to help to keep the gates open,” Wright said.
If the fair does go on this year, both men encourage you to come out.
“Please support the fair board. Please support this fair, Mississippi County Fair. This is our fair, not just the board’s fair. This is Mississippi County as a whole. This is our fair,” Wright said.
A carnival could happen in June, Lawrence said, that could help recuperate some of the money lost from the Spring Carnival.
If you would like to donate to the Mississippi County Fair board, you can send in a donation to P.O. Box 183, Blytheville, AR 72316.