Coincidentally, a reader mentioned this article shortly after I’d sent a note to the Arkansas State Fair asking whether the coronavirus pandemic had altered plans for the fair, scheduled in Little Rock Oct. 16-25. News came this week of cancellation this year of another fall staple that drew a big crowd, the Race for the Cure.
High school and college athletics still have question marks.
The fair draws tens of thousands, with crowds on the midway and at concert venues, along with visits to the livestock barns.
This article says 15 states have canceled, some have altered schedules and others are waiting to make decisions.
For now, the Arkansas State Fair website is still counting down to a full slate of events. Early in June, an event was held on the fairgrounds featuring the sale of fair food to whet appetites for October.
I’ll pass along a response from the fair when I get it. Gov. Asa Hutchinson has been striving to keep as much business open as possible in Arkansas and to retain normalcy in schools, voting and other venues, despite the dangers.
UPDATE: Change is coming. Here’s the response to my question to Douglas White, president and general manager of the Arkansas Livestock Association, which runs the show:
You, as usual, have impeccable timing. Our board met this morning and while I don’t have a formal announcement just yet, I can tell you that we are doing everything in our power to hold some semblance of a State Fair come October.
We are looking at several “hybrid” concepts and hope to arrive at a decision in the coming days. Obviously, any plan will involve safety and the health of our patrons, exhibitors and employees. I will keep you posted.