The St. Mary’s County Fair is back on this year after being shuttered last fall due to the coronavirus pandemic, but depending on the circumstances surrounding the virus this fall, things may run a little differently.
“This year, we’re especially keeping up with COVID information and trying to plan how we’re going to be safe, and have adequate protocols,” John Richards, the St. Mary’s County Fair Board’s president, said. That will include spacing in seating arrangements in Tolerance Hall, physical distancing when possible and other measures, depending on the current virus conditions in September.
The fair will be held at the St. Mary’s County Fairgrounds in Leonardtown from Sept. 23 to 26, Richards said.
As vaccines become more accessible to the public, more events have been able to be held at the fairgrounds in recent weeks.
This weekend, a beloved pandemic tradition, the fair food festival, will return to the fairgrounds, where about 35 vendors will sell funnel cakes, sausages, stuffed ham and the like. The Second District Volunteer Rescue Squad Auxiliary will also be holding a craft fair.
The fair food festival will be held from Friday, April 23, through Sunday, April 25.
The Leonardtown Lions Club will be bringing back its annual Crab Festival in August this year, and the annual Southern Maryland Fishing Fair will also planned for August.
The Southern Maryland Spring Festival, however, has been canceled.
“Everyone is looking forward to getting out,” Richards said. “Let’s hope we keep the same momentum we’re seeing.”
Richards said this is “not the first time” the fair board has had to deal with viruses: the H1N1 swine flu, as well as fears of the avian flu before, caused fear about their effects on livestock, rather than humans, though.
“We’ve understood the importance of washing and sanitizing,” he said.
Commissioner Randy Guy (R), a member of the Leonardtown Lions, said at Tuesday’s commissioners meeting he was looking forward to selling steamed crabs at the fairgrounds again, either in a drive-thru or sit-down fashion.
“Let’s have faith, and continue wearing our masks, continue moving on through this COVID thing until we all get vaccinated, and I think we’ll all get through this,” he said.