MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Alabama National Fair ended Sunday night, and in its 67-year history, it was unlike anything organizers had dealt with before.
Carnival workers spent all day Monday pulling up stakes and trucking on to the next city, and while all the packing went on, Randy Stephenson reflected on the “roller coaster ride” it took to get the fair in place for its 67th year.
“You place a hurricane and COVID and come out of this okay, we feel great about it," said Stephenson who is the Alabama National Fair director.
The 2020 Alabama National Fair was 30 percent smaller, but that shouldn’t suggest it was 30 percent less fun.
“You know 90% of the people wore masks most of the time we walked through. They did a great job of that," he said.
The numbers are still coming in, but it appears 75,000 visitors attended the fair last week. Organizers say they are pleased all things considered.
As for next year, don’t be surprised if the layout looks a little different at the fairgrounds. The reason is the renovation work could begin this spring on Garrett Coliseum. The city officially took ownership just a few days ago. Plans are in the works now to transform the aging building. It’s a job that could take about 18 months.
“There will probably be some timeframe, a month or six weeks they would have to shut it down," said Stephenson.
They are closing the gates on another fair, one that was impacted by COVID-19 and storms, but the lights and sounds still flashed for more than a week. Work is already underway to prepare for the 68th edition.
Stephenson says they will know in about six weeks how much money the fair raised for the Montgomery Kiwanis Club. The club distributes the funds to local charities every year.