A slightly injured Vespa is put upright by cleanup crews.
Virginia in general this summer– and the Albemarle County Fair over the years have been notorious for devastating thunderstorms. This was no exception on August 28, when a massive storm rocked most of the county and wreaked havoc on our beloved Fair. As the evening storm rolled into the fairgrounds, attendees swarmed into the tents for protection.
When the high winds and heavy rains hit the big exhibition tent, disaster struck as heavy-duty stakes pulled loose from the muddy ground and the tent began to collapse. In a gripping moment of fear, people raced out of the tent. Others were helplessly trapped.
Miraculously, only a few people suffered minor injuries. Fire and Rescue squads were on scene immediately, working fast and furiously to gain control over the scene.
The following morning was a sobering experience. As the Fire Marshall assessed the safety of the grounds, fair workers and exhibitors sifted through the remains of the exhibition tent. Farmers and 4-H kids tended to their livestock, which had survived the night without incident.
Surprisingly, everyone seemed to be upbeat, thanks to the pride they have in the Fair and their gratitude that it wasn't worse.