Some are avoiding the Gun Show and Flea Market this weekend

Hillsville during the Labor Day weekend flea market and gun show.

Labor day is considered the traditional end of Summer, even though the Fall season arrived later in the month of September. It is also a gathering place for events like the Carroll County Flea Market and Gun Show.

COVID-19 brought a rare cancellation of the event last year, which can draw more than 100,000 people to the small town of Hillsville. It’s on for this year, starting Friday afternoon and runs through Monday, but a growing number feel it should not bring back the Labor Day crowd at a time when the virus, driven by its delta variant, is spiraling out of control.

“Hell no,” said longtime vendor Alley Rudland in an email. “I’m staying him with my family. Yes, it will hurt my business. The show is a big part of it, but my health and the health of my family if far more important.”

We agree. We might venture out to a flea market or two, but that will be it. The North Carolina TV station who has hired me to shoot video made the decision easier when it said they thought the show was a stupid idea this year.

So that, and other health problems, will keep us away from large events.

In Friday’s COVID-19 report by the Virginia Department of Health, the Commonwealth topped 4,000 new cases for the third straight day. Floyd County had its 23rd death, a new hospitalization and 5 new cases, bringing the total to 1,075. That’s more than 75 new cases in 10 days in a county where many days were one or two, if that.

Pulaski County, where the Floyd County plays against its Cougars tonight, had 15 new cases for a total of 1,676 and, like the rest of Virginia, has seen a sharp increase spurred by the “delta variant.”

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