State Health Officer Weighs in on Alabama National Fair
The Alabama National Fair is back next month, but things will look pretty different.
Alabama News Network talked with Randy Stephenson, the director of the fair, who said they’re limiting the capacity to 30%, that’s about 7,000 patrons. And when it comes to rides, there will be about half the amount you would normally see… 32 this year– all to make room for social distancing, “We just have to do the lanes and the lines so that people will be safe,” Stephenson said.
Stephenson explained Wades Shows, the company who puts on the carnival, has already put on two successful fairs this season. Staff will provide hand sanitizer stations, social distancing reminders and temperature checks before entering the premises.
State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said vulnerable people, like seniors and people who have chronic health problems, should especially avoid large gatherings… and remember they are safer at home, “I think there is no question the more people you have out and about doing things as groups, the more disease transmission you’re going to see.”
Dr. Scott Harris said the goal is for people to change their behavior and follow the CDC guidelines, “I think if everyone really maintained distance and wore face coverings and used hand sanitation, it could be one hundred percent safe. Practically speaking, experience has taught us that it’s hard.”
Stephenson said the fair is more than family fun and an economic impact to the River Region, “The main reason we do it is charity. We have given back more than $7,000,000 to charity. We’re working hard to get the fair done again this year, so that hopefully we’ll be able to give money back to charity again.”
Some other changes this year: No performances or vendors will be inside of the Coliseum. Everything is outside, including live concerts each night. The livestock expo will still go on as usual inside of the barn.
The Early bird ticket special started Tuesday. The fair runs from October 9th until the 18th.