POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — The Mason County Fair Board announced the cancellation of the Market Livestock Show and Sale on Monday evening, following Gov. Jim Justice’s orders on public gatherings announced on Monday afternoon.
“Due to the governor’s executive order given today, the Market Livestock Show and Sale has been canceled,” the fair’s Facebook post stated. The post also said that the board was working on an option to allow livestock exhibitors to sell their animals.
The restrictions that Gov. Justice gave on public gatherings restricts crowd size to 25 people.
The restrictions include any fair or festival, as well as indoor and outdoor concerts.
“As far as being effective tomorrow (Tuesday, July 14), any fairs, festivals or outdoor concerts, we’re not going to have them…we’re going to go back to a crowd size of 25,”Justice said during his press conference on Monday.
The governor’s office clarified later on Monday that the person limitation is only for social gatherings and does not apply to anything deemed essential.
Neighboring Putnam County canceled its fair, but is currently having an online, virtual auction for exhibitors to sell their animals. The bidding for the auction was set to run from Sunday through Wednesday.
It is unknown at this time if the Mason County Fair Board is considering an online auction.
WVU Extension Agent Lorrie Wright said the fair board members “are committed to creating some sort of avenue to allow the 4-H an FFA members to sell the animals they have worked so hard on.”
The Mason County Fair’s social media post said that the board would announce plans to proceed next Monday.
“With changes coming so rapidly, it is important to be patient and understand that they are doing the best they can,” Wright said.
The Meigs County Fair Board recently approved the COVID-19 response plan for the 2020 fair. The Meigs County Board of Health planned to discuss the proposal on Tuesday evening.
Board President Wes Karr told Ohio Valley Publishing earlier in the month that the board was planning a full fair within the guidelines.
The Meigs County Fair is scheduled for Aug. 17-22.
Earlier this month, the Gallia County Fair Board released its schedule that focused on allowing exhibitors to show their projects. The board previously said the plan was to have a series of one-day shows during the week of the fair, which is Aug. 3-8.
The schedule includes the livestock shows and sales along with the queen pageant, garden tractor pulls, tobacco show and sale, tractor, semi and truck pulls.
The Gallia County Fair Board is set to meet on Thursday night.
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Kayla Hawthorne is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.