SOKY fair will get underway a little differently next week

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – The SOKY fair is getting underway next week, but due to COVID-19, it will look a lot different this year.

The fair, usually known for its midway rides and animal showings, will not feature either this year.

Due to social distancing, carnival rides were deemed unsafe, but the fair will feature many exciting attractions involving vehicles.

According to Alex Marlin, the chairman of the SOKY Fair this year, safety precautions in opening the fair have been a top priority.

“When we were able to look at the governor’s guidelines, we’ve been in discussion with the department of agriculture who kind of manages fairs and that kind of thing and presented our plan, you know, we didn’t get any negative feedback so we feel like we are doing the things that need to be done to keep people safe, follow guidelines and do the right thing,” said Marlin.

Figure 8 racing, oval track racing, a truck and tractor pull, demolition derby and mud drag racing are all on the schedule for next week.

The beer garden is still a go as well, it will just take place outside.

“We’ve got seating, as far as table seating to eat at, we’ve got those spread out at more than 6-foot distances. So, just everything we can come up with to help people spread out and be able to do this in a safe manner, but still allow people to come out and have a good time,” said Marlin.

The fair is a major fundraiser for a local non-profit as well, according to Joe Gibson, the president of the Bowling Green Jaycees.

“The Jaycee’s is a non-profit organization and we use the proceeds from the fair to fund everything we do throughout the year,” said GIBSON.

“It has been months and months of us strategizing and planning and going with one plan and having to redirect and plan it a different way. So, this year has definitely been unlike any other,” said Marlin.

The fair runs Monday through Friday of next week.

Admission is $10.

Gates open at 6 p.m. each night at the Soky Fairgrounds in Lampkin Park.

Track events begin at 7 p.m.