Fisher fairgrounds eerily empty this year

The view from above the Fisher Fairgrounds, empty this July after the COVID-19 pandemic caused the cancelation of this year’s fair.

FISHER — Luke Eichelberger and his three children rode their bikes through the parking lot of the still, quiet Fisher Fairgrounds on Tuesday afternoon.

Just over a week ago, the Fisher Fair was supposed to take place, culminating with the ever-popular demolition derby that draws thousands of people to the small stadium on the corner of the grounds. Instead, the fairgrounds remained empty with the fair canceled due to COVID-19.

“It’s definitely weird seeing it empty,” Eichelberger said. “It brought the city together. Now, that can’t happen, and the city can’t come together. It’s too risky, and that’s OK. You just have to find different ways of adjusting.”

Growing up, Eichelberger went to the fair every year. As he got older, he began helping a friend prepare cars for the popular derby.

After years away from his hometown, Eichelberger and his family moved back a few months ago. He looked forward to taking his kids to one of the town’s defining events.

Now, he’ll have to wait.

“I’m looking forward to when it does happen, if that’s next year or this year,” he said. “I know that’s a disappointment for a lot of people, but at the same time, it has to happen for health.”