By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
With W.Va. Governor Jim Justice recently mandating all fairs and festivals ceasing activity, this put the Tucker County Fair Board in a difficult situation on how to continue with what is permissible versus what is not. After much deliberation and countless calls to the Health Department and the Governor’s Office, it was unanimously decided, with regret, that the Tucker County Fair will suspend all entertainment, vendors, open exhibits, car show, and anything else covered by this executive order.
Tucker County Fair Board President Daniele Wilfong released this official statement. “With the health of our community in mind, and in compliance with the Governor’s mandate, the fair board voted tonight to cancel the 2020 Tucker County Fair. We look forward to creating a jam packed schedule for the 2021 fair! We will still be offering a closed Youth Livestock Show and Sale for our livestock exhibitors following guidelines set by the Governor’s office, CDC, and the Tucker County Health Department. The pageant and the mud bog are both still underway and more information will be released regarding these events in the upcoming days. Details regarding the Girls Day Out Bash will be released tomorrow. Thank you for being patient, understanding and supportive during these difficult and uncertain times.”
West Virginia University has determined that 4-H and FFA will not be associated with any events this year, except the 4-H indoor exhibits. Members can drop off their projects on Monday, time to be determined, August 24 at the Camp Kidd Dining Hall. The exhibits will be judged Tuesday morning when photos will be taken and posted to announce the winners. The exhibits will then be taken to businesses throughout the county to showcase the work of the 4-H members.
Fortunately, a private livestock show and sale can still take place under strict regulations, though this will not count towards the completion of 4-H or FFA projects. Exhibitors will have a scheduled drop off time on Thursday, August 27, between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. As the showman arrives, they will be directed where to enter and exit and will remain in their vehicles until their turn. Once the exhibits are situated, the owners are asked to leave the grounds.
On Friday, beginning at 4 p.m., there will be a breeding show followed by the market show at 5 p.m. These events are private, closed to the public, and only the exhibitor and their immediate family, such as mother and father, are permitted to be in the barn. Once the exhibitor is finished with his or her show for the evening, it is asked for them to leave.
While partaking in the shows and sale, exhibitors cannot display the 4-H clover or FFA emblem or wording on their clothing or accessories. These logos will also have to be covered throughout the fair property.
On Saturday morning at 8 a.m., showmanship will begin in the barn. Again, this is a private event and only the exhibitor and their immediate family will be permitted at the barn. As buyers arrive, random temperature checks will take place at the gate as well as a waiver will be signed. From 3 until 5 p.m. a to-go dinner can be picked up by registered buyers. At this time, potential buyers can also walk through the barn while following the arrows to view the entries going through the auction.
Seating will not be provided for the auction and only the exhibitor, their immediate family, and registered buyers are permitted to attend. Exhibitors are asked to have all of their belongings gathered up prior to the sale so once they are done selling their final entry, they are asked to clean their space and leave the barn.
In order to limit interaction during the sale, exhibitors are required to submit a picture of them with each of their projects to firstname.lastname@example.org by August 14. Exhibitors are discouraged from wearing any 4-H and FFA attire. These pictures will be printed and put into a frame that will be handed to the buyer at the sale.
The Queen’s Pageant will also continue as scheduled on Wednesday, August 26, but will also be a private event. Bleachers will not be available, families must sit together, and the goal is to live stream the event. Pageant Coordinator Daniele Wilfong will be reaching out to all contestants to discuss attendance restrictions.
The mud bog is still permitted to take place as this is considered an outdoor sporting event, therefore is exempt from the executive order. This event will continue to take place as originally planned. A COVID-19 waiver will be required, there will not be seating provided, and strict CDC guidelines will be enforced.
With the guidelines changing daily, all events and their protocol are subject to change. It is the goal of the Fair Board to provide what they can for the youth and the county while keeping the health and safety of everyone.