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Fairfield Carnival goes on

Published: Jul. 24, 2020 at 4:33 PM EDT
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FAIRFILED, Va. (WDBJ) - A lot of events in our area have been canceled because of COVID, but in Fairfield in northern Rockbridge County, they’ve decided the show, or rather the carnival, must go on.

The firefighters are making their barbeque chicken, so popular people were already coming by to get some for lunch Friday, and nearby the goldfish bowls and other games were out and the rides were up and ready to go.

“You know, this is a big part of our year,” said Jarrett Harlow, of the South River Volunteer Fire Department. “A big part of the community’s year.”

But this year was different, with warnings about masks, hand washing, and social distancing at the rides.

“Yeah, there was some doubt,” Harlow said. “We kind of bounced around the idea of whether we would have the carnival or not.”

But in the end, its importance to the community and to the fire department’s budget – the carnival covers nearly a third of its costs – made them decide to go ahead.

“So this is an enormous part of our budget that we rely on every year to be able to operate,” Harlow explained. “You know, if it weren’t for us coming out and doing this carnival, then it’s sad to say we wouldn’t be able to go out and help the people that we do.”

Thursday was the first night for the rides, carefully wiped down after each use, and Friday brings the annual parade.

“It feels different as far as everything’s concerned, you know, normally carnival week is just a place when everyone can come and come together,” Harlow said. “You know, the whole community comes together and comes out. We have great support from our community here.”

The carnival runs through the weekend.

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