Rising COVID-19 infections and state guidelines key factors in decision
RIDGEFIELD – After much deliberation and consideration, the Clark County Fair Board Executive Committee has made the decision to postpone the Clark County Fair until the summer of 2022.
The group said the decision was based on several determining factors – the recent trend of increasing infection rates, the continuing safety concerns for volunteers, staff, and community partners for a 10-day event and the Washington State guidance for fairs and festivals which drastically limits capacity and allowed activities. The Clark County Fair is now set to return August 5-14, 2022.
“We strive to provide a venue where people can come together and enjoy the Fair in all the aspects that they associate with the Fair, which historically results in large crowds in relatively small spaces such as our midways, the grandstands, carnival area and food court,” said John Morrison, fair manager and CEO, in a release. “Based on the current Washington State Guidelines for events and fairs, we would be challenged to monitor and maintain distance and the health and safety for our guests and volunteers.”
Dr. Alan Melnick, Director of Health for Clark County said he agreed with the decision.
“We understand that the Fair is a unique experience and draws large crowds together in an environment largely incompatible with the physical distancing measures in effect,” Melnick said. “Given the guidance from Governor Inslee regarding COVID-19, and the present continued increase in infection rates so close to the opening of the Fair, Clark County Public Health recommends that the 2021 Fair not be held.”
“When the Fair was cancelled last year, we remained hopeful the availability of a vaccine would allow us to plan and hold a full event this year,” said Morrison. “However, as of May 7, we cannot for certain know if we may end up in a more or less restrictive situation for the Fair, this unknown variable requires that we be prudent and postpone, as disappointing as that is for me and my staff.”
On the good news front, the Clark County Event Center has begun planning several manageable and smaller family-oriented events this summer that fall within current Washington State guidelines for attendance limits. Individually these stand-alone events have smaller crowds and separate guidance for attendee safety and COVID compliance. When available, announcements of these activities will be posted on the www.clarkcoeventcenter.com website.
Information provided by the Clark County Fair