FRONT ROYAL – Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Warren County Fair is set to be underway Aug. 18-22.

Kandi Lamb, a fair board of directors member, said via telephone that the event “is going to be very different” with a 1,000-attendance cap and not as many rides or events. Along with the attendance limit, other state guidelines require social distancing and frequent sanitation efforts.

The decision to have a fair comes as the surrounding localities of Shenandoah, Frederick and Clarke counties canceled fairs.

Asked if the fair board is worried about having that many people together, Lamb said the size of the fairgrounds allows “plenty of space for people to social distance” while “people that are at-risk or very concerned about COVID probably aren’t going to come out to the fair.”

“People have been stuck in their homes and we just still wanted to give them something to come out and do,” she said.

Lamb explained the thought was always to have a fair but board members watched all of Gov. Ralph Northam’s announcements to see if it would be allowed. She added that the fair is a couple of weeks away and it will be canceled if Warren County returns to Phase 2 of the state's reopening guidelines.

The fair's main events will be two regular demolition derbies, a diesel drag night, a truck and tractor pull and an outlaw demolition derby. Lamb said there will be a small carnival with some “kiddie rides” – which will be sanitized after every run – along with a few games and vendors.

While there will be a pie-eating contest, Lamb said normal events canceled include concerts and the beauty pageants. The 4-H livestock show and sale also will not be held at the fairgrounds this year, but Lamb said hopefully “next year, when we’re all back to normal, fingers crossed, they’ll be back with us.”

“It will be a good fair without all that stuff. It will be a different fair but families can still come out and make memories and that’s what it’s all about,” she said.

Discounted advanced tickets will be available via a link on the fair’s Facebook page later this week with prices being $5 for Tuesday, $8 for Wednesday and Thursday, and $10 for Friday and Saturday. Lamb encouraged people to buy tickets online so the fair can have a good idea of expected attendance.

Gate tickets will be $7 on Tuesday, $10 on Wednesday and Thursday, and $12 on Friday and Saturday.

– Contact Josh Gully at jgully@nvdaily.com