Cecil County Fair will happen but will look different

Fans typically pack the grandstands of the Cecil County Fair at the Demolition Derby so fair organizers need to figure out how to hold the popular event while keeping pandemic guidelines in place for social distancing.

ELKTON — Plans are being made to present the Cecil County Fair this summer according to the fair board of directors.

Last year the annual nine-day event was yet another cancellation due to the pandemic. With the first day set for July 23 organizers are indicating there will be a Cecil County Fair happening.

“We met with the (Cecil County) health department last week and we’ve been in contact with Maryland Department of Natural Resources,” said Don Moore, fair board president. “The plan is to have a fair in 2021.”

However Moore cautioned because Cecil County’s COVID-19 infection numbers are on the rise once again the planning is, at best, a fluid situation.

“I can’t even begin to tell you what it’s going to look like,” Moore said Tuesday.

Efforts were made last year to hold many of the 4-H events including the Livestock Sale, which was held online. The fair board also held a fundraiser selling cases of fresh chicken to recover some of the revenue lost.

Moore said that 4-H events will happen this year regardless but the big challenge for the board of directors will be crowd control for the fair as a whole.

“The night time entertainment is what we have to figure out,” Moore said. High traffic events such as the rodeo and demolition derby will create the biggest issues in this era of social distancing. That’s especially true on Friday and Saturday nights of the derby when the grandstands are packed and people crowd into the midway.

“Degeller is operating in the south and they have every intention of coming north,” Moore said, referring to the company which has brought the carnival rides and games to the fair for a long time. “We do have the ability to space them out. We’ll probably have to have fewer vendors in the Ed Walls building.”

That’s the large pole building where fair regulars such as Cecil College and Cecil County Public Libraries can be found.

Moore remains hopeful that as more people get vaccinated the infection numbers will abate.

“Hopefully in the next month things will turn around and it will be business as usual,” Moore said. “I’m ready to get back to normal.”

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