Rowan County Fair kicks off for first time since before COVID-19

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ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — The Rowan County Fair kicked off Friday night, after cancelling their event last year due to COVID. While you can still find the typical fair staples like funnel cakes, games, and rides at the fairgrounds, there are some changes to try to keep guests safe.

“We’re doing everything outside. Nothing is inside of the buildings,” said Fair Manager Johnny Love. “We have hand sanitizers, we have sanitation stations, we have things spread throughout the fairgrounds to keep everybody safe.”

In addition to keeping everyone outdoors, there will be no petting zoo at this year’s fair, but there are still animals and crops on display. Masks are strongly recommended, but not required.

Many people at the fair say there were upset that the fair was cancelled last year.

“I was kind of disappointed because I wanted to have fun but you, since COVID happened, I couldn’t really do that,” said fair attendee Malaysia Dillard.

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Rowan County’s COVID numbers are among the worst in the state, but organizers said they just followed the county’s lead when deciding whether to cancel for the second year in a row.

“The county is having their Autumn Jubilee at Dan Nicholas Park, so we figured if the county itself is willing to take the chance, then we might as well give the people a place to go and have some good family fun,” said Love.

To add icing to the funnel cake, fair planners are preparing for larger-than-normal crowds.

“Our attendance, depending whether it rains, ranges anywhere from 20,000 to 40,000 people. So, we’re hoping since the weather is going to be good and with all the other events cancelled in the area, we should see a really good year,” said Love.

The fair is open every day until Oct. 2. It’s open from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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