County fairs, community festivals, carnivals and other events enjoyed by thousands every summer have fallen prey to the current Coronavirus pandemic.
Franklin County Fair
The Franklin County Fair Board has cancelled the 2020 Franklin County Fair, previously scheduled for July 5-11.
The goal is to keep volunteers, exhibitors, and the community safe from exposure to the Coronavirus, the board said.
Shippensburg Community Fair
Shippensburg Community Fair’s board said they are ”heartbroken” in announcing the cancellation of July’s 2020 Shippensburg Community Fair.
“COVID-19 has a taken a significant toll on all of us,” their announcement said. “While we all crave a return to normalcy, our Fair Board, along with the assistance of local officials, has determined that the potential health risk of holding a fair this year is too great for our exhibitors, volunteers, and visitors.”
Fulton County Fair
Fulton County hasn’t been hit as hard with cases of the virus, but that county’s fair board isn’t taking any chances either. The community’s annual County Fair and Rodeo has been canceled. The fair board cited community safety concerns in making that decision.
“Please know that we are thankful for the continued support of our volunteers, exhibitors and visitors,” board members said. “We look forward to a strong return next year for the 2021 fair August 1st through the 7th.”
Pennsylvania Farm show
Pennsylvania doesn’t have a state fair as so many other states do. It does have an annual State Farm show, basically a state fair without the carnival atmosphere of rides and sideshows. It is a big celebration of everything farm related.
Billed as the largest indoor agricultural exposition under one roof in the nation, the Farm Show draws half a million visitors every year. There is no indication yet about the show’s 2021 status.
The Farm Show Complex and Expo Center includes three arenas, and houses 24 indoor acres in 11 buildings.
Cancellations not made lightly
The decision was a tough call for all of the fair boards, involving many hours of discussion and consideration.
Dozens of local youth and community organizations work to make the fairs successful each year. It takes weeks of advance planning and effort to pull it all off. Social distancing requirements could be in place all summer, which would create vast problems for both exhibitors and fair goers.
“Social distancing on the fairgrounds and within barns and entertainment venues just isn’t practical,” the SCF board said.
Placing strict limits on event participants or visitors coming through the gate would negatively impact local organizations who use the fair as a fundraising opportunity.
This cancellation extends to all events held at the Shippensburg Fairgrounds through July 31, 2020.
The Shippensburg board is now looking at the possibility of holding some fair events later in the year, or in a different format.
The county fair boards will stay busy this summer anyway. They all say they plan great things for 2021.