By Troy Treasure
If there is to be a 135th Shelby County Fair July 6-11, it will be unlike any before.
There will be no Clarence Homecoming. The 2020 celebration, scheduled for June 19-22 has been cancelled due to ongoing concern with the coronavirus.
The 13-member Shelby County Fair board voted last week to cancel all scheduled Motorsports. It has tentatively called off all other events unless a safe and approved method is discovered to host such activities.
Board president Philip Saunders told the Shelby County Herald on Saturday the vote was unanimous.
“There’s a glimmer of hope. We don’t want to say there wasn’t a Shelby County Fair for 2020,” Saunders said. “There’s a possibility it will be on a limited scale.
“We don’t want to rule out anything that might come about, in an acceptable and healthy manner, that we could help the Youth Fair put on the programs for the 4-H and/or FFA kids with their projects,” Saunders continued.
At a minimum, a virtual auction is under consideration.
Saunders did not completely rule out events such as the queen contest, baby show and talent show. But the organizational clock is ticking.
“It’s going to have to happen pretty quickly, though, because there is quite a bit of planning involved,” Saunders said of the viability regarding those Fair traditions.
The Clarence Homecoming started in 1914, was put on hiatus in 1923 then resumed in 1936.
“We are sorry for any inconvenience,” Troy Renner of Clarence stated via social media Friday. “However, our community has been through a lot of things worse than this. We have always risen from the ashes in the past and it is our intention to do that again with this.”
Saunders indicated, to his recollection, the Fair was previously cancelled during periods of the Great Depression and World War II.