Belle Fair to be held two weeks early

Fair board considering fireworks display

By Roxie Murphy, Staff Writer
Posted 12/8/21

BELLE — The annual Belle Fair will be held two weeks early next year — June 29-July 2 — to accommodate the carnival. Board members are discussing adding a Saturday night fireworks …

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Belle Fair to be held two weeks early

Fair board considering fireworks display

Posted

BELLE — The annual Belle Fair will be held two weeks early next year — June 29-July 2 — to accommodate the carnival. Board members are discussing adding a Saturday night fireworks display to celebrate Independence Day.

The Belle Fair Board announced on Dec. 1 that the event dates have been moved to June 29-July 2, 2022, to accommodate the carnival provider Sonshine Amusements.

Board President Ronnie Terrill explained the decision to make the move.

“In order to have a carnival we didn’t have any choice,” Terrill said. “They tried to reroute their routes and if they couldn’t have it then, they would have to pull out and drive 200 miles back to us and then 200 miles back to where they was headed. It was pretty well the only time they had that we could schedule and have it.”

Terrill said the COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot in the fair entertainment industry.

“COVID has changed some things — and of course everyone blames things on the COVID. We don’t have carnivals you can get a hold of anymore. So many went bankrupt. Many people didn’t have fairs last year. Without a carnival, we don’t have a fair.”

The board plans to take advantage of the change with a fireworks display, and hopefully, bring in other communities since it will be the first fair in the area.

“I don’t know if this will be a permanent change or if it will go back,” Terrill said. “The carnival lady couldn’t tell me. I have to check back with her.”

Terrill said there are worries every year with the fair — rain, COVID, heat.

“People have got to where if it’s hot, they have AC and don’t want to leave ‘em,” Terrill said. “Before it was not that way. It was hot at home and it was hot at the fair.”

Volunteers are always a worry.

“We have to have help to do it and the community don’t get involved and want to do it so there is trouble there too,” Terrill said. “What we’ve got is good volunteers, they have been excellent. But we are still short and there is more work on the ones we got.”

The board spoke with a Sonshine Amusements representative during their Dec. 1 meeting.

“Next week we may have a little more idea (of what to expect) after I get more information from the carnival,” Terrill said. “We can’t have a fair without a carnival and the carnival has been excellent to work with. They try their best to work with us the best they can and we try to do the same with them. They do have a good carnival.”

Terrill said the event is only being held two weeks ahead of its normal time and doesn’t think that will make too much of a difference to events.

“I don’t see any of the livestock shows and such being affected,” he said. “They will just have to weigh in earlier. It won’t hurt that much on livestock. Calves will be the same as they have right now — already picked out and they know what they are going to have.”

Terrill said if everything stays positive, it will work. 

“Sometimes you start out and hope for the best and do a lot of praying,” Terrill said. “God’s out there and he will help you. Without Him, we couldn’t have a fair.

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