PALMYRA, Mo. | The Marion County Fair in Palmyra will go on with several safety precautions in place and less events than in previous years.
The fair kicked off on Saturday, Aug. 1 and runs through Saturday, Aug. 8.
Marion County Fair Board President Michele Hopson said the community is excited to have the fair.
“We started trying to get this all figured out months ago,” Hopson said. “Then when Tom Sawyer Days happened and things looked like they were going to calm down. You can't just figure all of this out in one night, so in June we decided to move forward and it looked safe to do that.”
Fair organizers have added several safety precautions such as closing the bleachers off, supplying hand sanitizers and masks and setting up extra hand washing stations.
Hopson said the fair organizers want to do everything they can to keep guests and staff safe.
“We worked in (partnership) with the Marion County Health Department,” Hopson said. “We had to set up entrances and exits clearly marked for in and out of the arena, anything going in and out had to be clearly marked. We have extra sanitizing of the park bathroom and the (portable toilets).”
From Aug. 4-8, advanced tickets are $20 and the daily ticket is $25 for the armband dates. Arena events throughout the week range in $5 to $10 for entry.
On Saturday, Aug. 1, the fair will host the Marion County Parade, the car show, the air rifle and pistol contest and the Tate Shade Memorial Bull Bash.
On Tuesday, Aug. 4, the carnival rides will begin, and the fair will host the 4H and FFA Horse Show.
Another big event on Tuesday is the Antique Garden Tractor Pull, which starts at 5:30 p.m., and costs $5 per ticket.
Tractor pull organizer Donald Porter said he expects at least 60 people to compete in the 15th Annual Antique Garden Tractor Pull.
“We have them split up in 10 to 12 classes by horsepower,” Porter said. “They pull a specially built sled and whoever can pull it the furthest is the winner of that class. We break it down by horsepower to make it fair for each group.”
On Wednesday, Aug. 5, animal shows for goats, rabbits, swine, cattle and sheep will be held. The main arena event will be the 4-Wheeler Races, which will open at 6:30 p.m. and cost $10 per ticket.
On Thursday, Aug. 6, the Pedal Pull Tractor Race will be held, with registration starting at 5:30 p.m. The Supercross Races will be held in the arena, starting at 8 p.m., with tickets at $10 each.
Events on Friday, Aug. 7 include the 4H and FFA Beef Show and the Pee Wee Calf Show at the livestock barn.
The Demolition Derby will be held on Friday at the arena, with registration starting at 5 p.m. Tickets are $10 each and the event will start at 7:30 p.m.
Over 130 cars have been pre-registered for the Demolition Derby with event organizers planning on running four different classes of cars in several heats throughout the night.
There is a $18,000 purse for the Demolition Derby with the top-five finishers in each class receiving cash payouts. There will also be a “Mad Dog” award given to a racer in each class.
“The Mad Dog Award is $500,” said event organizer Dakota Damron. “That's basically just whoever is going out there and keeps the floor on the accelerator and takes hard hits the whole night. They get an award for that.”
Saturday, Aug. 8 will be the final day for the fair and the carnival. There will also be a livestock sale, horseshoe tournament and a Show-Me Superpull held at the arena on the fair's final day.
Unfortunately, the Marion County Fair had to cancel several events they have normally held in the past. That includes the Amateur Talent Show, the Little Mister and Miss Contest, the Queen Contest, the Art Show and Exhibit and live music.
Hopson said some of these events had to be canceled because event organizers did not feel they were safe.
“There are only so many of us organizers to go around and we've got events that take so much time,” Hopson said. “The other reason the Talent Show got canceled is that our small businesses that got shut down are the one's (who usually sponsor the event).”