WILSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WTVF) — Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wilson County fair is still happening, but some fan favorites are out of the question. All of the carnival rides had to be eliminated and the food is scaled down.
However, if you love animals, it will be the place to be.
Normally, the Wilson County Fair would just be another pit stop during a busy summer for 11-year-old Kat Branscum. Not this year.
"Normally we would go to four to five shows and this will be the second one this year," said Neal Branscum, Kat's father.
Wilson County is one of the few fairs in the nation that will continue with livestock shows. "We want it to be safe, that’s our number one priority," said Randall Clemons, Wilson County Fair's President.
In a way, this stripped down version of the fair is like a journey back in time. "Before we started the fair, it actually started on the Lebanon Square as a cattle event so that’s where our roots go back to," said Clemons.
But to do so, everything from the layout to the cleaning process will be different. Wilson County Fair organizers have made certain walkways one way only and have placed X's on the ground where lines may form. They've also placed hand washing stations throughout the complex.
"We’ve got hand sanitizer around everywhere," said Helen McPeak, the fair's Executive Director. "Who would have ever thought we’d be living in a time like this?"
While so much is different, some comfort foods will still be available, just on a smaller scale. Normally the fair hires 92 food vendors. This year, it will only be six vendors. The lucky few feel like they've won the lottery.
So do Kat and her family. "We really appreciate everything that’s been done because I guarantee you, there’s a lot of thankless jobs behind the scenes to pull an event like this together,"said Kat's father.
For them, Wilson County is no pit stop. It's a dream come true. "I just think it’s a fun hobby," said Kat.
Click here for the Wilson County Fair's full schedule of events.
What is the rebound?
As Middle Tennessee works to rebound from the impact of the Coronavirus, we want to help. Whether it's getting back to work, making ends meet during this uncertain time, or managing the pressure, we're committed to finding solution. In addition, we want to tell your stories of hope, inspiration, and creativity as Middle Tennessee starts to rebound.
Find more in the sections below
More Safely Back to School storiesHow schools are changing, and what you can do to help your child get the most from their education, in-person or virtual
Getting Back To WorkLearn about the latest job openings, how to file for benefits and succeed in the job market.
Making Ends MeetFind help on topics from rent to food to new belt-tightening techniques.
Managing the PressureFeeling isolated or frustrated? Learn ways to connect with people virtually, get counseling or manage your stress.
Doing What’s RightKeep track of the way people are spending your tax dollars and treating your community.
State of EducationFind ways to cope with the new normal around schools and celebrate students’ success in the age of Coronavirus.
We're Open Y'allSupport local businesses doing their best to stay open and serve their customers during Covid.