Due to considerations related to COVID-19, the carnival that was scheduled to operate at this year’s Raymondville Picnic and Old Settlers Reunion in Houston has cancelled.
In turn, Raymondville Picnic organizers have cancelled the event for 2020. After originally being scheduled for May and postponed because of COVID-19, it was set to run Thursday through Saturday, July 23-25.
Houston Area Chamber of Commerce director Angie Quinlan said a two-night demolition derby is still on for Friday, July 31, and Saturday, Aug. 1, but in the carnival’s absence no other activities or attractions will be scheduled that week.
Officials with Show Me Amusements (of Fisk, Mo.) said the carnival usually does 70 to 80 shows annually, but all but six of have cancelled this year. The carnival was also scheduled for the Phelps County Fair in Rolla the week after the OSR, but it will also not appear there.
“The company’s officials said they are just not able to make enough money to pay the insurance, workers and travel fees,” Quinlan said.
The Raymondville Picnic is the Raymondville Volunteer Fire Department’s biggest annual fundraiser.
“It hurts to cancel it,” said RVFD Chief Mike Jackson, “but we understand the situation. It’s just business; you have to be able to make money when you’re running a business.”
The Texas County Fair Board still plans to host its annual livestock showing competition and other activities July 28 through Aug. 1.
“I know people are probably disappointed,” Quinlan said, “and the board and I are, too. But this has been a year like no other and we are fortunate enough to be able to still hold the demolition derby so people can get out of the house and enjoy themselves for a few hours.
“We’re a strong community and we will weather this storm.”