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Faulkner County Fair is back with masks not required, highly encouraged

The CDC recommends people consider wearing a mask in crowded settings, including events like county fairs across Arkansas.

ARKANSAS, USA — County fairs are making a big comeback after many canceled last year due to the pandemic.

Even though COVID-19 cases are starting to go down again after the delta variant caused another surge, there are still questions about whether it’s safe to go to an event like this.

We visited the Faulkner County Fair that started Tuesday night.

"This year I'm so glad we can be back at the fair,” said Kori Williams, a fair participant.

When Kori Williams thinks of her childhood, the local county fair comes to mind.

She shows goats at the livestock events through the Greenbrier High School FFA program.

But last year, she missed out on a lot because of the pandemic.

"We didn't get any of the rides or the inside like the Expo, so I'm really glad that's all back to normal,” said Williams.

It's all back, the games, the rides, the food, and the animals.

On top of that, event organizers said they are preparing because they’ve been told other county fairs across the state have seen larger than normal attendance this year.

"People are having record crowds almost every day. So, we are hoping that will hold true for us as well,” said David Henze, Faulkner County Fair organizer.

With more people expected, there are likely more concerns for those who worry about the spread of the virus in large crowds.

The CDC recommends people consider wearing a mask in crowded settings and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.

Faulkner County Fair organizers said masks are not required but encouraged.

Also, guests will have an opportunity to play their part in combating the virus.

"We are partnering with the Conway Fire Department and the Heartland Pharmacy, and we are having vaccine clinics in the Expo Center every night that we are open,” said Henze.

The Faulkner County Fair has made a point to add additional hand sanitizer stations throughout the midway.

“Just be sensible and do the right thing,” said Henze. "Hope you come out, enjoy the animals, the rides, the food, and the atmosphere."