ROBERTSDALE, Ala. (WKRG) – It may not look like much right now, but by Tuesday afternoon the fields surrounding the Baldwin County Coliseum will fill up with rides, concessions and a lot of visitors ready to kick off the 70th anniversary of the Baldwin County Fair.
“We’re back and we’re back stronger than we ever were,” said fair manager Sonny Hankins.
Last year COVID-19 forced organizers to cancel the event, but this year Hankins is moving forward, opening the gates at 5 p.m. Tuesday. He tells WKRG News 5 he feels the fair can continue in a safe manner.
“I used to say that hurricanes and deaths and depressions and recessions didn’t affect the fair, COVID did. It took us out,” he said.
Hankins says despite the increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations we’ve seen in recent months, masks will not be required to attend the fair this year.
“If you want to come to the fair with a mask you can. If you want to come without one you can. If you get here and want one we’ll give you one. We abide by all state and federal regulations,” he added.
It’s not just COVID-19 on people’s minds, though.
Last week flooding rains caused problems in Baldwin County. Much of the ground where the fair will be held in Robertsdale is still soaked.
“I’m a native Baldwin Countian and I’ve never seen it this kind of wet this time of year. People just need to bare with us. Everything will be so different this year because of the wet weather and the ground is so wet,” Hankins said.
The Baldwin County Fair will run through Saturday. There will be dozens of exhibitors inside of the Baldwin County Coliseum for those passing through.