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Morgan County Fair canceled, businesses will miss out on revenue

Thousands of people, and dollars, will not be coming to Morgan County this month after the 70th annual fair was canceled.

Posted: Sep 11, 2019 9:48 PM
Updated: Sep 12, 2019 8:18 AM

Thousands of people, and dollars, will not be coming to Morgan County this month after the 70th annual fair was canceled.

The Morgan County Fairgrounds was home to the fair for decades, but in January, it was sold for $1.4 million and a new location couldn't be found in time. Now, thousands of people won't be coming to spend their money in the county. 

"Makes me sad in a way, 'cause I have good memories as a child. Those are probably the best memories of my life, going to the fair and eating cotton candy, candy apples and stuff," said Beth Isbell, who grew up going to the Morgan County Fair. 

Isbell is the general manager of Rock Bottom Carpets in Decatur. Half a mile down the road from the store is the Morgan County Fairgrounds, where, as a kid, she made great memories. Isbell even started taking her son, hoping to share a piece of her childhood.

"Now, you don't have something to look forward to for your kids. Now, having that taken away from my son, that really hurts me," Isbell said. 

On Wednesday, Morgan County Commission Chairman Ray Long confirmed the Morgan County Fair will not happen this year. WAAY 31 called Modern Midways, the fair attraction supplier, and they confirmed the same thing. Isbell says the fair had a positive economic impact on the area.

"They see all these stores and their like, I didn't even know this place existed over here," Isbell said. 

Modern Midways tells WAAY 31 approximately 30,000 people attended the 10-day event in 2017 and 2018. 

In August, the new owner of the Morgan County Fairgrounds could not come to a rental agreement with the Tennessee Valley Exposition Board to host the fair. The board was in charge of finding a new location, considering locations in Trinity, Falkville and Hartselle. 

The fair was supposed to start September 19th, and with it right around the corner, it was too late. Modern Midways tells WAAY 31 the fair will go from Redstone Arsenal to Montgomery, Alabama and then Georgia, instead of coming to Decatur. 

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