It’s hard to welcome fall without the Baldwin County Fair. It’s back this year after having to cancel in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic. The lights, the sounds, the clowns, rodeo and of course, the thrilling rides are all back for the 70th year. Last year was the first time in its history the fair was cancelled.
“Hurricanes, droughts, depressions, recessions, politics never deterred us but COVID took us out and it’s a terrible thing and we’re looking forward to the general public coming back and enjoying a little time out,” said Director of the Baldwin County Fair, Sonny Hankins.
Hankins has overseen the fair for nearly 20 years and said in that time, he’s seen its popularity grow by 10 times. Despite concerns by some over the continued spread of COVID-19, he said there was never a question this year of if the show would go on.
“We abide by all, like I said, all state and federal regulations and everything else is going on,” Hankins said. “You see a hundred thousand people on any given Sunday afternoon in half a dozen different places watching football games. On Saturday, everybody in the world’s gone to a football game and we’re going to have the County Fair and we’re proud to have it.”
The fair doesn’t open until Tuesday, September 21, 2021 but staff has already been working long hours getting the grounds ready. Tents were going up and the arena made ready for the rodeo next Friday and Saturday nights. Exhibitors will begin checking in Friday and by the weekend, the rides will begin showing up.
Arnold Amusements is back for the 25th year and is bringing all the fun with the ever-popular Midway. As usual, they’ll debut new rides that are sure to please. That’s all great news to many in the county.
“My daughter didn’t like it last year. She’s 10 and wanted to be able to go to the Fair,” recalled Bo Jenkins. “We’ve gone every year since she was five…since we moved here, so I think it’s a good thing. Kids need to get out. They’ve been shut up too long.”
“It relieves some stress,” added Kay Wilson. “People are under a lot of stress right now and I think just people being able to get out and enjoy things a little bit, it’s going to be better for people.”
Face covering will not be required, but if you decide you want one, they will have some available at the fair. The Baldwin County Fair opens next Tuesday, the 21st and runs through Saturday night, September 25, 2021.