FAIRLEA, WV (WVNS) — After nearly two years of waiting, the State Fair of West Virginia returns on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021.
With more time than normal to prepare, state fair workers are itching to get things started.
“So we have had two years to plan for the annual State Fair of West Virginia, so we were ready to go,” said Kelly Collins, the CEO of the State Fair.
The fairgrounds, normally occupied by the state fair’s ten, year-round workers, are now filled with more than 200 workers at stands and rides.
“Folks are starting to roll in. They are getting their positions set up and we are ready to open the gate,” said Collins.
As they get ready to do so, organizers made sure to take extra precautions with the pandemic in mind.
“Some extra cleaning, some extra sanitizations and hanging up signs, and we will be ready to let people in,” said Collins.
While they are excited to begin, state fair organizers want everyone to be properly prepared. In order to ensure everyone’s safety and prevent another cancellation, the grounds of the fair will be equipped with hand sanitizing stations.
Rides and attractions are sanitized every night and will be closed periodically throughout the day to be cleaned as well. Collins said they will adhere to the CDC guidelines when it comes to masks.
“We are recommending when you are indoors, regardless of your vaccination status, that you do wear your mask, and again that is a recommendation per the CDC guidelines,” said Collins.
Staying safe also means being able to handle dangerous situations, and just in case, West Virginia State Police has a mobile command unit set up throughout the fair and can help if, for example, a child gets lost.
“Before you get here or when you get to the fair, take a picture of your child so you know exactly what they are wearing because in those moments of panic, you may not remember,” said Collins.
With the fair comes added traffic through Lewisburg and Fairlea. Those coming to take part in the festivities should expect alternate routes to the fairgrounds.
“They actually have an alternate route so if you are heading from 64, heading east, you will see an alternate route sign on the Alta exit,” said Collins
Collins said after not being able to hold the fair last year, its importance to the area is more apparent than ever.
“We learned in 2020 the economic impact of the fair and how much it hurt not having the fair,” said Collins.
The gates open at 9 a.m. on Aug. 12, and tickets are available to purchase both online and at the gate.