(WSYR-TV) — Both the Erie and Ontario County Fairs have been cancelled for 2020 and rescheduled for 2021.
The 177th annual Ontario County Fair, scheduled for July 21-25, has been cancelled due to COVID-19 safety concerns.
The Ontario County Agricultural Society Board of Directors announced the cancellation Wednesday afternoon.
“The decision to cancel is an emotional one,” said Fair Board President Casey Kunes. “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.”
In Erie County, fair officials have decided to postpone the 181st fair until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Erie County Fair was originally scheduled for August 12-23. According to WIVB in Buffalo, this is only the second time since 1841 there will be no Erie County fair.
“Although our Board and staff share a feeling of profound disappointment in making the announcement to cancel the 2020 Erie County Fair, it has become clear that canceling is the responsible choice for the fair to do its part to support community health and safety, and to minimize the spread of COVID 19,” said CEO and Fair Manager Jessica Underberg.
Full refunds for 2020 Erie County Fair 12-Day passes will be processed by mailing the passes back to the fair office at 5600 McKinley Parkway, Hamburg, New York 14075.
Organizers ask that you include the name and address of the individual requesting the refund.
Also, in-person refunds will not be handled at the fair’s main office, as it is closed due to COVID-19.
The reopening of fairs and festivals falls within New York’s Phase Four, which is not likely to arrive until mid-July or possibly later.
Safety requirements and preparations to the buildings and grounds, limiting the number of patrons in the grandstand and entertainment areas, while maintaining the current six feet social distancing rules, were taken into consideration when making the decision.
The 177th Ontario County Fair is now scheduled for July 27 to July 31, 2021.
The 181st Erie County Fair was rescheduled to take place August 11-22, 2021.
No official decision has been made regarding the Great New York State Fair.