Canandaigua, NY – The 177th annual Ontario County Fair scheduled for July 21-25, 2020 is now canceled due to COVID-19 safety concerns.
After much research and discussion, the Ontario County Agricultural Society Board of Directors met and concluded that “having the Ontario County Fair in 2020 is not in the best interest for our participants, volunteers and patrons,” said Fair Board President Casey Kunes.
“The decision to cancel is an emotional one,” he said. “The annual tradition brings so much to the community and all involved. It’s especially hard when we consider our youth that prepare all year long and look forward to fair week. However, keeping everyone healthy and safe is the number one priority.”
“The re-opening of fairs and festivals falls within New York’s Phase Four,” said Kunes. “A decision from New York state to grant the approvals required to allow the Fair to move forward is not likely to arrive until mid-July. And that assumes there are no further delays in the advancement of the phases required to open an event, which includes mass gatherings.”
Safety requirements and preparations to the buildings and grounds, limiting the number of patrons in the grandstand and entertainment areas, while maintain the current six feet social distancing rules, were also taken into consideration when making the decision.
The Ontario County Fair averages 15,000 attendees annually and is run solely by volunteers.
“Out of certainty and fairness to the many individuals, farmers, vendors and organizations who help us plan for this event, this was also part of this difficult decision,” said Kunes.
The 177th Ontario County Fair is now scheduled for July 27 to July 31, 2021.
“The Fair, and all that it means to us, and to what it has meant to so many organizations, businesses and patrons has to be considered,” said Kunes. “But we will be back in 2021 bigger and better than ever. We have a special community with tremendous support and love for all that the Fair represents. It is a true testament to our mission of Cultivating the Next Generation.”
Christen Smith, Director of Marketing and Communications
Finger Lakes Visitors Connection