MORGANTOWN — For the second year running, there will be no Monongalia County Fair.
The Monongalia County Fair Board posted a message on moncountyfair.org indicating the summer staple, scheduled for Sept. 9-14, has once again been canceled.
Fair Board President Amee Blake said the continued presence of COVID-19 brings too much uncertainty, particularly when it comes to turnout.
“We have talked to a lot of people in the area that have been doing events and attendance has been down, like 50%. Yes, people are getting vaccinated and some of the restrictions are being lifted, but there’s still a lot of uncertainty about attending events,” she said, explaining that getting half the traditional turnout would be financially crippling for the fair going forward.
“We’d quit. We would never be able to recoup a huge loss. That was one of the biggest factors in this decision. First and foremost, it’s everyone’s safety. God forbid if people got sick from our fair,” Blake said. “After that, we just can’t risk putting this on and people not showing up. It would be devastating. We have to be able to pay our bills, and how are we going to do that if we don’t get the attendance we typically get during the fair?
Blake said given the amount of time invested by many of the members over the years, the decision wasn’t one the all-volunteer fair board made lightly.
“On a normal year the only question is weather. That’s nothing we can help. But you don’t typically get an entire week of rain … Now we’ve got COVID restrictions on top of attendance questions on top of weather. We don’t want to fail. We want to come back with normalcy, but it’s still not normal,” she said.
As it did last summer, the board has chosen to move forward with the livestock show and sale for 4-H and FFA participants.
Board member Rob Maxwell said there will be shows on the afternoon of Sept. 13 and the morning of Sept. 14, followed by the sale that afternoon.
People can attend the shows, which will be held in the pavilion of the Monongalia County Extension Services & 4-H Center, in Mylan Park.
Maxwell said the plan is to have the shows broadcast online, though those details are not finalized. Saturday’s sale will be available through the Joe R. Pyle Auctions website.
“It’s important to the exhibitors with 4-H and FAA so they can complete their year projects,” Maxwell said. “So it’s a good thing for the kids to be able to get out there and complete those projects and have the auction so they can sell their projects.”
Watch moncountyfair.org for additional information about the livestock show and sale.