As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty of conditions come September, the Macon County Fair will not be held in 2020. The fair was scheduled to take place September 23-26.
The Macon County Fair Board of Directors announced that they looked at every possible path of having this year’s fair but could not see a way to be safe for everyone. The decision to cancel this year’s fair was based on the following:
- Safety and health of visitors and staff,
- Current situation with the percentage of COVID-19 tests coming back positive,
- The state only being in Phase II of reopening,
- Social distancing measures limiting the size of gatherings remaining in place.
The Macon County Fair generates approximately 70 percent of the annual budget needed to operate the fairgrounds. Due to COVID-19 restricting the board’s ability to host the fair this year, the board is asking the public to generously give to the Macon County Fair money they might have given in advertisement, booth rentals, donations, BBQ supper and participation with the harvest sale and cake auction.
“We know the residents of Macon County fully support our unique fair and will be extremely generous to assure the fair will continue for many years to come,” said the Board of Directors. “We are going to have some livestock shows for Macon County youth, but the attendance will be limited to parents. When the fair was established in 1953 the main emphasis was providing an avenue for the youth to show their livestock and produce. We hope this minimal action will give all youth a desire to continue their agricultural activities and look forward to a full fair next year.”
The donations that may be provided by the public will enable the board of directors to continue operating the fairgrounds to be utilized by many different individual, business, club, and government functions once the restrictions are lifted. Communtiy groups, churches, craft shows, yard sales, semi truck parking and others use the fair throughtout the year.
The Macon County Fairgrounds relies solely on the revenue they receive from the community and those attending the fair. While in the past they have accepted a donation from the county commissioners, they have only asked for this type of donation for major infrastructure improvements. This year, if they do not receive enough donations to keep monthly expenses (electric, phone, water, etc.) and they yearly insurance expense (exceeds $11,000.00 yearly) the board of directors may have to close access to all the facilities due to liability concerns.
“If you have attended the Macon County Fair in the past, we thank you. If you have given a donation, bought an item, rented a booth, had an advertisement in our catalog, bought something at the auctions, we thank you,”said Board of Directors. “We just pray that you see the benefit of the Macon County Fair and help us get through this unusual time and give us a donation so we can continue to operate the fairgrounds for the upcoming year.”