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2019 0801 fair

Guests swing by on the Rattler during the Wayne County Fair in 2019 at Camden Park in Huntington.

HUNTINGTON — Due to financial concerns brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, there will be no Wayne County Fair at Camden Park in 2020.

The Fair Board announced its decision to officially call off the fair, pageant and horse show this summer but hopes to return to normal operation next year.

“As the Fair Board has watched the events of the last few months unfold, our concern over the health and well-being of our community has been an utmost priority,” President Adam Hudson said in a news release.

“Our hope is that we can approach 2021 with a renewed sense of community and focus.”

Founded in 1803, the Wayne County Fair is one of the oldest fairs in the Mountain State and has overcome many challenges and changes throughout its history. But organizers say a lack of sponsorship for this year’s event proved to be too much to overcome.

“There weren’t enough sponsors and the board was unsure of how much they could recover (from admissions) at the gate. We’d be risking too much,” WVU 4-H Extension Service agent Julie Tritz, speaking on behalf of the Fair Board, told Wayne County commissioners Monday.

Those who had pledged to sponsor the fair before the decision to forego the event this year were mailed letters late last week, affording them the opportunity for reimbursement, if desired. The same offer was extended to the Wayne County Commission, which had donated $1,500 to cover the cost of parking this year. That donation, commissioners said, will not be taken back but rather applied to their contribution in 2021.

Tritz added that the board is still looking to present the 4-H projects, including the livestock show, in alternative formats. More information will be provided on those events will be made available in the coming weeks.

For additional information or questions, contact the Wayne County Fair Board at waynecountyfair@gmail.com

Luke Creasy is a reporter for HD Media. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook @HDcreasy or reach him by phone at 304-526-2800.

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