BOAZ, Ala. (WHNT) — A local group came together Thursday to host a private, sensory-friendly fair for children with special needs at the Marshall County Fair Grounds.

The event was organized by Spencer’s Friends, which works to host events for children with special needs in the local community. Spencer’s Friends was founded in 2016 by Patricia Moore, who was inspired to start the group after her son Spencer was diagnosed with autism. The fair was also sponsored by the Boaz Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) post.

The fair was open to Marshall County families who have children with special needs. The event offered a chance for those families to enjoy the rides and games at the fair without the large crowds or loud music that can make it difficult for those with sensory challenges to attend public events.

Moore said Spencer’s Friends often works with local businesses to host events like the fair. She said she feels the events are important, as they give neurodivergent children and their families the opportunity to enjoy events their particular challenges can cause them to miss.

“The main reason why it was so important for me to do these was because there were so few opportunities for families to get out and do something as a family,” Moore said. “and I wanted the neurotypical siblings who in my opinion are true heroes, to also come out and do this and they’re often deprived of that because their sibling can’t.”

She said her organization is always working to coordinate more events like the fair so they can be sure they give families options for a fun family outing.