Despite Covid-19, the 109th Red River Valley Fair kicks off Wednesday.
“We are doing it for the people of Paris and Lamar County who really need to have some fun after being at home for months,” an excited Executive Director Rita Jane Haynes said Monday afternoon from fair headquarters at the Lamar County Fairgrounds, 570 E. Center Street.
“Because we know there are families out there who are hurting and really can’t afford to come to the fair, we are knocking off the $5 admission charge from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday,” Haynes said. “It’s our way of paying back to the community for the support we have had all these years.”
Haynes expressed disappointment in the cancellation of hometown country music star Gene Watson because of the heath pandemic.
“He is as disappointed as we are, but his booking agency has canceled all his shows,” Haynes said, noting Watson has been a staple at the fair for more than 30 years. “But Wade White will be our headliner Thursday night at 8 and Dale Cummings will be our opening act beginning at 6:30. Both of them draw large crowds, and I know they will put on great shows.”
Other Main Stage entertainment includes Mixed Society from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Daniel Hines Family Gospel from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Friday with the Million Dollar Blues Band at 6:30 p.m. and Relentless beginning at 8 p.m. Saturday.
To keep people safe from the novel coronavirus, Haynes said inside exhibits will be moved outside with the pumpkin patch, home and garden displays and the bee club in the coliseum.
“We are recommending but not requiring face masks, and we are urging social distancing,” Haynes said.
In addition to Crabtree Amusements carnival, grounds entertainment features Cato’s Antique Car, Kornpop’s Comedy & Magic Show, Swiftly Swine Pig Races and the Globe of Death Squad.
“Of course we’ll have food concessions,” Haynes said. “We’ve got corndogs, funnel cakes, barbecue, hamburgers and everything else,” Haynes said.