DUNKIRK – The Chautauqua County Fair’s 2020 season has been postponed until next year due to COVID-19 concerns.
Fair President Dave Wilson tells WNYNewsNow this was one of the toughest decisions the fair board has ever made.
Wilson says because of continued uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and the reopening effort, the board decided to postpone this year’s event.
“According to the Governor’s plan, fairs and festivals are in phase four, well, phase four probably really won’t happen until about the First of July or so, you know there are going to be some stipulations, (and) not knowing what those stipulations are going to be (contributed to our decision),” explained Wilson. “We had to make a decision.”
Wilson said efforts like social distancing will likely be impossible in an environment like the fair.
Furthermore, officials were running out of time to coordinate activities and hire venders.
“We are heartbroken for small businesses, family farms, competitors, exhibitors, and everyone who relies on income and exposure from the Chautauqua County fair,” furthered Wilson. “But that was the decision, it was a tough one, and we made it.”
This would have been the 139th fair held in the county. Wilson says this is not the first time the fair was postponed. During WWII from 1942 to 1944 the grounds were used as a prisoner of war camp.
In 2021 Wilson says that the fair will be “bigger and better” serving as one of the county’s largest celebrations.