By Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor
(June 21, 2018) The sustained, soaking rains have, more or less, been weathered pretty well during the last month with few reported injuries, little spillover from the wastewater treatment plants and floodwaters receding shortly after they arrived.
There has been one casualty, however, as the board of directors of the Worcester County Fair voted unanimously to delay this year’s event until Sept. 14-16. The venue, Byrd Park in Snow Hill, sits along the edge of the Pocomoke River, and any swelling at the banks is immediately felt within park boundaries.
As a result, the park has had about all the water it can handle right now, and all of the expected foot traffic from visitors and exhibitors would end up damaging the grounds.
The Worcester County Fair traditionally opens the fair season on the lower shore, and had been scheduled to begin this weekend.
“We had an emergency meeting on site on June 13,” Kathy Decker, of the University of Maryland extension office, said. “The board unanimously decided two things: We were not having the fair from June 21-24, and we were not going to not have the fair.”
Bandying about alternative dates, the board came up with the September weekend, which coincides with Delmarva Bike Week.
“This weekend presents an opportunity to explore untapped potential,” she said. “We would love to have the participants come down and enjoy the fair, and maybe stop by the downtown shop as well.”
As for the exhibitors who have already begun preparing their entries, Decker said the board had nothing but regret that it waited so long to make the call, but it was necessary.
“We understand the adverse effects this could have on the livestock entries,” she said.
Participants can spend a lot of time making sure their animals are in tip-top show condition.
“The Worcester County Fair is the first stop for some on the fair circuit. We hope they move along during the season and come back for us in September,” she said.
Decker said everyone who already submitted an entry form need not to take any additional steps before the fair. However, she said, the board would also accept additional entries for the later event.
“We’re having another meeting at 6 p.m. on July 10 at the extension office in Snow Hill at 305 Bank Street, and the public is welcome to attend,” she said.