SALEM, Va. (WFXR) — After 12 days of food and fun, the 34th annual Salem Fair shut its gates at 10 p.m. on Sunday, marking what officials describe as a good season, minus the rain and storms.
“It’s gone well. When we’ve had good weather, we’ve had phenomenal crowds,” said fair manager Carey Harveycutter.
He says it rained at least six out of the 12 days of the fair this year, putting a dent in business.
“And [this was] the first time we’ve ever had rain on both Saturdays and that really hurts,” said Harveycutter. “The first Saturday, we had 1.3 inches of rain about 4 o’clock, and of course yesterday, it rained off and on pretty much all day.”
The rain is one thing, but when there is lightning in the area, it can become a safety concern for fairgoers looking to ride any of the 40-plus rides on-site.
“Anytime we’re in a lightning situation, if there’s lightning within eight miles of the fairgrounds, we stop everything because it’s not safe,” explained Harveycutter.
He says they lost two hours to lightning one of the nights. The safety of the fair’s guests, though, is the biggest priority.
After the shooting that happened on opening night of the 2021 Salem Fair, security was ramped up this year, including the installation of metal detectors.
“It seemed pretty safe and secure. I feel pretty comfortable,” said longtime fair attendee Beverley Stover.
She says she never heard anything negative about the fair in its run this year. Harveycutter confirms there have been no major issues.
“When you have 100,000 people, 200,000 people on the property, you have some people that don’t want to play nice and in those instances, the police have taken care of it and we move forward,” Harveycutter said.