For the first time in nearly 20 years, part of the Franklin County Fair and Horse Show had to be shut down after Wednesday night’s storm brought heavy rain, strong winds and dangerous lightning.
Fair board president Donna Gay said Wednesday’s fairgoers will be able to use their tickets to get in tonight’s fair.
The storm cut power to the Hancock Pavilion and the motorsports arena. Strong winds and rain toppled the large tent for the horse show.
“We got battened down just in time,” Gay said this morning. “The sheriff’s department warned us … We just didn’t have enough time to get to the horse show. We were headed that way when the storm hit.”
No one was in the horse tent when the storm hit, Gay said. With the tent destroyed and the power out, the fair board shut everything down but the livestock shows.
“That was the first year in the past 17 years I think that we’ve ever had to cancel any events in the fair,” Gay said. “But it went pretty well, with the storm we had … we’re just thankful nobody got hurt.”
Gay and other fair board members will reassess the damage this afternoon but as far as she knew, Gay said the only major damage was the tent. She said the tent should be repaired by tonight’s fair.
The Little Miss and Mister pageant and the Tiny Miss and Mister Franklin County Fair pageant are rescheduled for Friday night (times to be determined). The Ms. Franklin County Fair pageant is tentatively rescheduled for tonight at 7:30.
Pageant participants will be able to use Wednesday’s tickets to get in the fair for their respective pageants, Gay said.