MISSISSIPPI COUNTY, Ark. (KAIT) - A longtime county fair in Region 8 will not happen this year due to COVID-19 concerns, county officials said Thursday.
According to a post on the Mississippi County, Arkansas Facebook page, officials said the Mississippi County Fair will not happen.
“The County Judge’s office regrets to inform you that the Mississippi County Fair will not take place this fall. The Arkansas Department of Health informed Judge Nelson that due to COVID-19, the County Fair poses a risk to public health and safety,” the post noted.
Officials said in the post that the county has around 1,400 total positive cases and 100 active COVID-19 cases now. Nearly 1,250 residents have recovered from the virus, while 22 people have died since March, officials said.
Back in June, officials with the fair said they were still working on the fair, which is typically held at Walker Park in Blytheville.
“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 in June.
Earlier this year, the Mississippi County Fair Board 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.
Lawrence said in June that if the group had to cancel this year’s fall fair, 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.”
In June, 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 still help by donating to the fair.
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.