POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — The Mason County Fair Board made the decision to cancel the 2020 Mason County Fair during a meeting on Thursday night.
The board made the cancellation announcement on Facebook and said the decision was based on guidelines from the state. The announcement also stated that the decision came “after much thought and consideration.”
Mason County Fair Board President Benny Hoffman said the board was looking to have a three-day junior market livestock show for 4-H and FFA exhibitors. Although the details are not planned, Hoffman said they will have the show during the week that the fair was scheduled, which was the week of Aug. 10-15.
Hoffman said the guidelines released by the state had too many restrictions.
“If anybody took the time to sit and read through these guidelines that we were to follow, it was almost impossible for us to hold the Mason County Fair,” Hoffman said. “There’s so many restrictions and we don’t have the manpower and ability to follow all these restrictions and guidelines that they provided for us.”
The fair board released a survey earlier this week to get input from the community about having a fair or not. Before the meeting, Hoffman said that they survey was to see how the residents of Mason County felt about coming to the fair.
Hoffman said the board had to consider the aspect of health issues, but also financial aspects. Hoffman said that if many people said they would not attend the fair, it might not be financially reasonable to hold the fair.
The survey asked people if they were residents of the county, if they or a family member had junior livestock projects, if they would feel safe riding amusement rights, if they would feel comfortable attending the fair, etc.
Before Thursday’s meeting, Hoffman also noted that local businesses may not be able to support the 4-H and FFA members as they have in the past.
“Are the businesses going to be able to come out to the sale and be able to buy animals?” Hoffman asked. “A lot of the mom and pop businesses have been shut down for two months.”
The fair board has a meeting scheduled for next Thursday and Hoffman said they would be discussing the details of a junior market livestock show and sale.
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Kayla Hawthorne is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.