PRINCETON — Limited time, fair schedules conflicting with summer school schedules and the need to keep disinfecting and cleaning as a precaution against Covid-19 have resulted in the 2021 Mercer County Fair being canceled.
Last year, precautions against Covid-19 led to many festivals and other events being either postponed or canceled. This situation changed in late March, when Gov. Jim Justice announced that fairs and festivals could, with updated guidelines, resume across West Virginia on May 1. Justice urged the state’s residents to get vaccinated so they could attend these events safely.
This possibility for having public events still did not leave the Mercer County Fair’s volunteers enough time to organize a 2021 fair at PikeView High School, according to Steve Johnston, the fair’s president.
Confirming vendors and entertainers as well as getting all the other aspects of a county fair together takes weeks of planning. Preparations usually start about a year in advance, he said.
Another delay happened when the organizers had to see whether PikeView High School in Gardner would be available, Johnston said. There was a scheduling conflict because summer school would still be in session and make the school building unavailable. The plan was to have the fair on Aug. 5, 6 and 7.
The fair would also have to go through the time and expense of cleaning and disinfecting around the school as a precaution against Covid-19, so the volunteers decided to wait and try to have the fair in 2022, Johnston said. Current plans include having a rodeo, musicians and other entertainment that was featured at previous county fairs.
“We haven’t fully organized to see what we could do next year,” he said.