Gibson County Fair kicks off despite pandemic

TRENTON, Tenn. — It’s fair week in one county, but that looks a little different this year.

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The fair board made a lot of changes to make the 2020 Gibson County Fair even possible.

“We wanted to focus on the youth in our county. They’ve had a big impact, a lot of people don’t see it that way, but their world has been turned upside down after March 16, and we’re trying to bring a little normalcy back to their lives,” said Derek Norman, chairman of the Gibson County Junior Livestock Association, and Ag teacher at Gibson County High School.

The COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to many things in people’s lives, including the fair in some areas.

Norman said the one thing they fought for this year as a fair association was for students in the county to at least have their livestock shows and exhibits.

While this year’s fair doesn’t have the food and rides like every year, it at least puts the spotlight on students across the county.

Many agriculture students started working with their animals earlier this year before the pandemic, and they said they’re thankful to have a fair.

“Just with everything going crazy, it feels great to be able to be out here and participate,” said Emma Wright, who showed goats.

“I’m happy. I put a lot of work into those goats and pigs, and was hoping to show it off,” Levi Howell, who showed goats and pigs, said.

The first night of the fair featured exhibits with arts, and crops, along with the annual livestock auction.

“In the years past, we’ve brought in about $70,000 on this night, and we hope to see that tradition continue,” Norman said.

For the auction, students did not have their animals in person to have enough room for social distancing.

Instead, they stood at the front of the barn in front of a projector next to a picture of their animal while community members made their highest bids.

Funds from the auction went directly to the students.

Wright shared what she was most excited for during the auction.

“Being able to get a little money, but just seeing everybody come out and support our junior livestock.”

There will be a livestock show each day for the rest of the week.

The Gibson County Fair runs through September 5.

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