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Bullitt County Fair returns, hoping to bounce back after one-year hiatus

Published: Jun. 15, 2021 at 11:21 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 11:52 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - After having to cancel in 2020 because of COVID-19, the Bullitt County Fair opened its gates this week for the week-long fair.

Fair Board of Bullitt County, Inc. President Jimmy Anderson said the past year has been tough for the fairgrounds, as it was not able to hold events and few people were renting out the facilities.

“When we’re not having the fair, we depend on rentals for our income and we couldn’t have those,” Anderson told WAVE 3 News. “We were one of the first ones to miss out on the fair and then we had to miss several rentals for three or four months before we could get back in shape. I mean it put a little financial burden on us. We were lucky enough to pick up some rentals from people who were doing the vaccine and that helped the bank account somewhat, and hopefully, we can make this thing work a little better this year to get some money out of it.”

The other issue, Anderson said, is vendors. They don’t have their normal amount of vendors this year.

“We have vendors who have been coming here for years and years and those are the ones you really miss,” Anderson said.

He said two long-time vendors are back, but the others didn’t call and he’s not sure why. He said the vendors who were there Monday night for opening night were incredibly busy.

“So great to be out and see all of our residents here in Bullitt County at the Bullitt County Fair,” Bullitt County Judge Executive Jerry Summers said. “This means so much to our community to be able to have an event where we can get out and see everyone.”

Summers said a month ago, they were concerned they wouldn’t be able to have a fair because of COVID-19 restrictions, so he’s glad they were able to put it all together in time.

Anderson told WAVE 3 News he’s worried about the future of county fairs, with lower attendance numbers over the past five years and fewer young people are signing up to show dairy cattle and beef cattle.

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The Bullitt County Fair returned this week after a year-long hiatus.
The Bullitt County Fair returned this week after a year-long hiatus.(WAVE 3 News)

“For teens like Lily Roadcap of Shelby County, showing cattle is a lifestyle.have 60-70 head of cattle in this cattle show we’re having [Tuesday], and [Tuesday night] it’ll probably be 20 to 30.”

For teens like Lily Roadcap of Shelby County, showing cattle is a lifestyle.

“I was in my mom’s belly when we first started showing, so my whole life,” Roadcap said. “[I love] meeting new people and then getting to compete is always fun.”

Tuesday was Roadcap’s first time back at the Bullitt County Fairgrounds after last year’s shutdown. She said she still traveled to as many county fairs as she could in 2020, but she’s glad to be back.

“Last year they didn’t have this show and this is one of my favorites,” Roadcap said about Bullitt County Fair’s Dairy Cattle Show. “We’re very grateful to be here.”

The tradition of attending the fair, or helping work it, is important to people like Owen Taylor.

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After having to cancel in 2020 because of COVID-19, the Bullitt County Fair opened their gates...
After having to cancel in 2020 because of COVID-19, the Bullitt County Fair opened their gates this week for the week-long fair.(WAVE 3 News)

“[I love] everything,” he said about the fair. “I always wanted to work at a carnival when I was a kid. That was my ambition to work at a carnival. Be over the rides or the animals, and now I’m over all of ‘em. It’s great.”

Taylor said he’s happy to see the gates open again and all of the people.

“We’re back!” he said. “Not big time, but we’re back. We’re about half. But we hope this is just the first start. We start back up after this.”

The Bullitt County Fair runs until Saturday, June 19. For more information click here.

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