Tulare County Fair board considers cancellation

Fair holds emergency meeting today at 5 to consider canceling at least some fair events this year

TULARE – The Tulare County Fair board will hold an “emergency meeting” July 1 at 5 p.m. at 620 K St. in Tulare, to consider cancellation of at least some of this year’s fair events. The agenda posted reads that the board may approve cancellation letters to entertainers who would have attended this September’s fair as well as cancellation of grandstand events. The schedule called for the five-day event to be held Sept. 16-20.

The potential exists for a down-sized event that could allow livestock showing that could be managed so as not to draw large crowds to the annual gathering and allow social distancing. The 2020 community event would be the 101st Tulare County Fair. Some counties have approved a limited livestock show, open only to exhibitors and their immediate families, with no outside spectators.

The apparent decision to cancel the popular fair comes as COVID-19 cases rise both locally and around the state. Statewide, the majority of the county fairs have now been canceled. Including the state and mid-state fairs, the California Department of Food and Agriculture lists 76 annual festivals. This year, just 20 of those 76 will be held with info as of June 12. Cancellations include the popular Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles this year and the Porterville Fair last April. Still on—the Big Fresno Fair in October.

The California Farm Bureau recently reported what this may mean for county fairs going forward. “The county fairs themselves suffer from lost revenue. Some may not be able to return from impacts of the pandemic, fair managers and fair board members said. The California Fairs Alliance estimates the cost of canceled events and fair closures at $200 million.”

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