On, June 17, 2020 the Jackson County Fair Board voted unanimously to cancel the 2020 Jackson County Fair. They concluded that the continuing spread of Covid-19 and the number of unknown variables that come with an event of this size are just too great. Obstacles that were heavily considered were social distancing, temperature checks and the uncertainty of vendor and entertainment cancellations.
The Fair Board issued a statement saying they “understand that everyone is ready to get out and enjoy events like the fair; however, our main responsibility is safety for all involved. This decision was not taken lightly and was made with the assistance of community leaders including local health and safety officials. We are planning for the 2021 fair and are pleased that our entertainment booked for this year have agreed to switch dates.” The Fair Board said they will continue to explore options of smaller events for the upcoming fall/winter. If you would like more information from the Fair Board, please contact Brian Murray 438-7846, Mark Sulfridge 493-5256 or Shay Hacker 287-8562.
The Jackson County Fair Board with the help of dedicated sponsors such as PRTC, Jackson Energy, the Jackson County Fiscal Court and the City of McKee have turned the annual fair into a regional event. Jackson County Fair Board Chairman Brian Murray reported, “The 2019 Jackson County Fair was quite possibly the most attended fair in our county’s history, with over 4,000 people coming to it over the 3 nights of awesome entertainment on the Water Street Stage! We believe it also was one of, if not THE best fair we’ve ever had!
In addition to the top notch entertainment, the vendors, the food, and the crafts of local artisans most people equate the Jackson County Fair with the annual Kiwanis Homecoming Parade. Beauty pageant winners, local schools, businesses, churches, and organizations such as the Volunteer Fire Departments participate by driving, riding, or marching down US 421 through McKee past the courthouse. Kids scramble to get candy thrown from the floats and vehicles. The parade is not sponsored or controlled by the Jackson County Fair Board. The parade is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club. On Monday, June 22nd, 2020 the Kiwanis Club contacted County Judge Executive Shane Gabbard and informed him that they had also concluded that the continuing spread of Covid-19 and the number of unknown variables that come with an event of this size are just too great. Therefore, they decided that this year’s annual Kiwanis parade will also be cancelled.
Earlier this year the annual Stringbean Memorial Bluegrass Festival was cancelled due to the risks associated with coronavirus. Jackson County has been hit hard with this highly contagious. Our community has seen 13 families lose loved ones to this highly contagious and deadly virus. The risks are real and even though the community is heartbroken over the cancellation of this events it is better than having beloved members of our families die and leave us when it could easily be avoided.