ROBERTSDALE, Alabama — Organizers of the Baldwin County Fair say they are still hoping to hold the annual event later this year but plans for the 70th annual event have been put on hold due to concerns over the Coronavirus.
“For the safety of our children, we’ve decided to postpone the fair,” said A.B. “Sonny Hankins, manager with the Baldwin County Cattle and Fair Association. “It is our hope that later this year, we will be back in business.”
After beginning life in Silverhill in the late 1940s, the Baldwin County Cattle and Fair Association took over the fair and built its first coliseum on Palmer Street in Robertsdale, where they hosted their first county fair in 1950.
The Baldwin County Fair now stands as the longest running county fair in the state, now under the management of A.B. “Sonny” and Melinda Hankins.
Sonny Hankins, whose father was a founding member of the Baldwin County Cattle and Fair Association, has served on the board since 1958 and has served as fair manager since 2004.
The fair draws thousands of residents from throughout Baldwin County and the surrounding area each year, and this year organizers hope for bigger and better crowds with a wide variety of activities.
Each year, the fair features more than 1,000 competitive exhibits, including antiques, art, crafts and hobbies, environmental art, scrapbooking, sewing, food preparation and preservation, horticulture and agronomy, photography and livestock exhibits, along with environmental exhibits, featuring schools and civic organizations.
The fair has also had a long-standing relationship with Arnold Amusement, featuring games and rides on the fair’s expansive midway.
In addition to numerous exhibits inside the coliseum, other annual exhibits include a Baldwin County museum exhibit, as well as livestock exhibits, a duck pond and baby chick exhibit, petting zoo, a circus and antique tractor shows outside, along with a youth sweet potato contest sponsored annually by the FCCLA.
Another huge draw for the fair is the annual rodeo, hosted by Robertsdale’s own Bo Campbell, founder and president of the Professional Cowboy Association.