PULASKI COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Community members gathered in Pulaski County for a day full of laughter and fun at the New River Valley Fair. However, even with people enjoying themselves, COVID-19 restrictions are still firmly in place.
Last year, the fair was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s events had vendors occupying the entire fairgrounds. Many vendors say this year’s New River Valley Fair help saved their businesses.
When you walk into the fair, you see your regular items like funnel cakes and loaded Italian sausages, but the main attractions are the local vendors. Local shops are spread out around the fair, selling books, jewelry, CBD products and more.
Joe Cruff, Quartermaster of ‘The Veterans of Foreign Wars’ says it’s good to be back.
“It was a bad year last year for everyone and our finances were deposed,” said Cruff.
According to Cruff, even with the downfall with the pandemic, it feels good to be back out, seeing kids laughing and having a good time.
The New River Valley Fair had only four weeks to prepare for this year’s event. Many fair organizers expected the fair to be canceled for the second year in a row, but they received a call from Pulaski County officials telling them otherwise.
Joni Underwood, Wysor Building Superintendent and Pet Show Coordinator, says with the fair back in swing, COVID-19 protocols are top-of-mind. Underwood says people should maintain a six-foot distance, and every chance they get, fair coordinators will clean with as many antibacterial products as they can get.
“In the Wysor building, we don’t have the chairs filled out as we typically do to sit, relax, and rest. We are trying not to encourage people to gather. Instead, we are encouraging you to keep your distance, wash your hands, and if you are not vaccinated, we want you to wear your mask,” said Underwood.
Oakley Quesenberry, Underwood’s brother and member of the Kazim Hillbilly’s, says that last year their organization was not able to properly raise money for The Shriners Hospital for Children. This year’s New River Valley Fair changes their involvement in the community.
“Today, we are selling raffle tickets for the Shriners, and 100-percent of that goes to the transportation to take the children back and forth to Greenville the Shriner hospital, and the Burn Center,” said Quesenberry.
The New River Valley Fair runs through Saturday, July 31. It will be open from 5 to 10:30 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday; from 2 to 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday; from 5 to 11 p.m. on Friday; and from 2 to 11 p.m. on Saturday.
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