The Spring Youth Fair, traditionally held at the Southwest Washington Fairgrounds, has been canceled this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, the fair’s directors announced.
It’s the second year in a row that it will not be held. The Southwest Washington Fairgrounds staff is still planning for the weeklong Southwest Washington Fair to take place in August.
The youth fair was scheduled for the first weekend in May. Lee Coumbs with the Spring Youth Fair board said that they do not feel that the state’s reopening and vaccination efforts will have progressed far enough for the fair to happen safely.
The youth fair usually attracts about 7,000 people over the course of the weekend.
“Department superintendents have expressed a strong desire to continue to plan for a 2022 fair. It’s a difficult time but we believe that our industry will return this summer and that the Southwest Washington Fair will be able to operate in August,” Coumbs wrote in a press release.
The Southwest Washington Fair was attended by about 70,000 people in 2019, according to Pat Slusher with the fairgrounds.
Slusher said they are watching how other fairs in the region are moving forward with planning, and many nearby towns are planning to host their festivals and parades in the summer. Fairgrounds staff have arranged for there to be plenty of hand washing and sanitizing stations around the fair as well more space for social distancing.
The restrooms at the fairgrounds were also recently remodeled to be larger and have hands-free sinks.
“All I can say is that we are planning on having the fair and there is a great deal of enthusiasm, but we are still in the infancy stages,” Slusher said. “Right now, if it takes reduced capacity, social-distancing, everybody wearing masks, all of those things are being planned on.”
Whether the fair is canceled is really contingent on the COVID-19 regulations this summer, Slusher said.
“I talked to vendors and food concessions and they’re planning on it, but there just isn’t a consensus yet,” he said. “The carnival is still on board at this point.”
Slusher said they are also planning for the popular Country Chicks Fall Market.
As summer approaches, more information about the Southwest Washington Fair will be posted on their website at southwestwashingtonfair.org.