MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – In a normal year, there are usually about three Showmasters Gun Shows, but this year, COVID-19 got in the way of that.
Annette Elliott, president of Showmasters, Inc., said the first show was in January. Elliott said shows were canceled this year because there was just no feasible way to put them on with COVID-19 restrictions. Now that she was finally able to get a second one, the president said she is very happy.
“I’m thrilled because the last one we had was in January, we had one scheduled for March and it got canceled because of COVID,” Elliott said. “Then we had one scheduled in July which the Monday of the gun show I had already sent the postcards out, which cost me $7,000. I sent that out on Friday and Monday the governor canceled, well set in restrictions that were really low. I mean super low as far as public occupancy. I don’t remember what it was but it was way too low for us to be able to operate a show.”
Another show was canceled in November because a WVU football game was switched to a home game. This meant that hotel prices spike and a lot of vendors could not afford to attend the show.
That is why seeing 1,500-1,6000 people show up this weekend was so rewarding for Elliott, her employees and vendors. Elliott said this was accomplished even with a maximum occupancy of 97 people at Mylan Park.
She said she provided air purifiers and hand sanitizer and mandated mask wearing.
Despite all the successes from the second weekend of shows, in 2021, Elliott said, she would just like to see a return to normalcy.
“I think it’s time for everyone to stand up Jan 1, 2021,” Elliott said. “I’m calling for it. That’s going to be the first workday and then we’re not quitting, we’re just going back to work. That’s what I would love to see for everybody.”