(Sept. 14, 2018) The 66th annual Worcester County Fair, slated for Sept. 14-16, at Byrd Park in Snow Hill, has been canceled due to the threat of Hurricane Florence.
“It is with great disappointment that I must share with you that the 2018 Worcester County Fair has been canceled due to current unfavorable conditions at Byrd Park and the forecast for worsening weather later in the week which could become a safety issue,” Kathy Decker, volunteer and administrative assistant, stated in a press release on Monday.
The fair was originally scheduled to take place June 23-25, but it was moved to September due to poor weather conditions. Byrd Park was “saturated” from heavy rainfall, which made it impossible to even enter the area, according to Decker.
“We are all just heartsick and disappointed, especially for our hardworking youth and exhibitors,” Decker said. “Mother Nature just was not in our camp this year.”
The fair had always been held the second week of August, but it was moved to June in 2017 because the weather is a little cooler in early summer.
It was decided to hold the event in June again this year, but it had to be postponed due to the state of the fairgrounds. The venue sits along the edge of the Pocomoke River, and any swelling at the banks is immediately felt within park boundaries, according to Decker.
“This decision was not made lightly and the board gave consideration to every aspect of the event,” Fair Board President Donny Powell stated in a press release about the June event. “However, when the volunteer board assessed the conditions of the grounds and looked at the poor prospects for those conditions to improve enough for us to be able to prepare and set up in time, we feel we made the right call out of concern for the safety and well-being of humans, animals and property.”
The event was then rescheduled to Sept. 14-16.
“We will come back strong in 2019,” Decker said. “[We’re] not sure where or when, but we’ll be back for year 67. Nothing’s off the table, and we will weigh all the options and see what we can do. We have to continue pushing forward.”
A virtual version of the fair has been set up on the Worcester County Fair Facebook page, in order to showcase the entries of the 1,700 participants who were slated to attend the fair.
The next meeting of the Worcester County Fair Board will be on Tuesday, Oct. 2, at 7 p.m., at the University of Maryland Extension office, 305 Bank St. in Snow Hill. Call 410-632-1972 for more information.