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Rain puts damper on some events but not entire fair

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The Eastern New Mexico State Fairgrounds are muddy after several days of rain, with standing water in some places, but today, the final day that the 2019 fair is open to the public, is expected to be sunny. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

The Eastern New Mexico State Fair has certainly had a wet season since opening to the public Monday.

Rain closed the fair and carnival rides Thursday night. Special events involving children and local schools on Tuesday and Friday also had to be canceled, and some concerts have had to move to inside venues.

But Trisha Lair, manager of ENMSF, said that no vendors have canceled, no power or service outages have been experienced, that the livestock shows have gone as planned and that attendance has been good.

“It has actually been very good considering weather,” she said about participation and attendance, which typically numbers over 20,000. “We had good crowds Monday and Wednesday. Thursday came and got us, but I think (Friday night), we will see people out here.”

She explained that the fair, carnival rides and indoor concert were expected to run as planned Friday night — although a chance of rainstorms existed — unless lightning was seen in the area. Today is expected to be sunny, with a high of 84 degrees.

“It is supposed to be beautiful (today),” she said. “We hope a lot of people will come out and make up for the days they didn’t get to come.”

A vendor who chose to identify himself only as “Tony” from California said he has been a merchant at the fair for 20 years. He said he hasn’t considered the rainy weather a big problem. He said he closed his booth up with tarps during the rains and will put more emphasis on helping people enjoy their time than on earning money.

According to the National Weather Service, the Roswell area received 3.53 inches of rain from Monday night until Friday afternoon. The precipitation average for the city for the month of September from 1920 to 2005 was 1.90 inches, according to the Western Regional Climate Center, a collaborative data and information effort of national and state agencies.