The return of Oak Mountain State Fair
By NATHAN HOWELL | Staff Writer
PELHAM – State fairs are one of the most celebrated traditions during the warmer months of the year for everyone, but especially for kids and young adults as the responsibilities from school are usually in their waning phases.
With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing many to miss out on this tradition in 2020, it was a welcome surprise when Red Mountain Entertainment announced that the Oak Mountain State Fair would be returning to the Oak Mountain Amphitheater for a 2021 event.
According to Red Mountain Entertainment’s John Ruffino, this year’s event is a way to welcome back some sense of normalcy that existed in the days before the pandemic had a grip on events. With crowds carefully showing up to play games, ride the attractions and enjoy themselves and the company of others, the event marked a significant return in the way of outdoor events for many people.
“We are looking forward to welcoming fans back to the Oak Mountain Amphitheater this summer,” Ruffino said. “The venue is thoroughly following all state and local guidelines in an effort to create a safe & comfortable environment for fans to return to live music and events like these.”
There have been measurable crowds during many days of the event, a clear sign that while many people are comfortable being outside, there are still many that would prefer to go out in smaller groups or at times when there are less people out.
Attendees got a chance to take in all of the usual rides and attractions that they would remember from 2019 and years past.
According to Ruffino these include things like “all the favorite attractions will return this year including the Mega Drop, Pharaoh’s fury, Mach 3, Himalaya and the Blitzer roller coaster. There are also hilarious attractions like the Banana Derby with monkey’s riding dogs, great kiddie rides and everyone’s favorite fair foods.”
Young children could be seen strapped in next to their siblings as they looked off to their parents watching them scream from excitement as they rode some of these rides. Best friends held on tight to each other as they experienced the fall on the Mega Drop.
The whole affair was a look into the past before the pandemic started, with obvious exception of the many people wearing masks as they walked through the fairground.
The state fair parked at the amphitheater for three weeks this year, offering a wide variety of opportunities to get out and enjoy for people of all ages. The crew will pack up the rides, attractions and food after the last date on May 9 and leave until next year when the world is hopefully more amenable to outdoor events.
See more photos from the event at Shelbycountyphotos.com