The annual Walker County Fair and Rodeo decided to cancel all rodeo events except for the online auction due to coronavirus concerns. This move was based on instructions given by the county judge and office of emergency management.
Director of Walker County Fair and Rodeo Tracy Stoudt explained the sizeable impact this cancellation had, and how they are working to pick up the pieces.
“We are very saddened that our children will not benefit from the fair that we normally have,” Stoudt said. “We are working on alternative methods for the children to be able to sell their projects. We don’t have all the details on that just yet, but that is something we are currently working on.”
Stoudt explained that students spend the majority of the year getting their projects ready for not only local fairs but also major shows. Due to the cancellation, some students have lost the chance to show their projects.
“They’ve spent a year’s worth of work, just the students themselves getting ready for this,” Stoudt said. “Then to have it just shut down before their eyes was very sad for all of us and for them.”
The cancellation of the event has caused extra work that the Walker County Fair Association wouldn’t normally encounter, but they are continuing to follow guidelines from local officials, stated Stoudt.
“In addition to canceling our fair, we’ve had to cancel several of our events that we have out here,” Stoudt said. “We have lots of Sam Houston groups that rent our facilities and those have been canceled up until about the first of May.”
Remnants of the fair and rodeo that were in motion before the cancellation are piling up, and Stoudt is trying to find ways to deal with it.
“The catalog showed up in my office yesterday, it had already been sent out to the printer and it was printed,” Soudt said. “I currently have them in my office. All the awards have been ordered and delivered. The fair hats have already been ordered. So there’s a lot of things.”
WCFR is working to refund entry fees to the various canceled events. For more information and for updates as details on the online auction become available, visit the WCFR page.