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Monterey County Fair canceled and rescheduled for 2021


UPDATE 6/29/20 (KION)

The Board of Directors of the Monterey County Fair (an Agency of the State of California) has voted unanimously to cancel the Fair set for Sept 3-7, and will reschedule it for 2021.

The Board of Directors made the announcement at its meeting on Thursday, June 25, 2020.

“This is sad and disappointing, but absolutely necessary, given the emergency circumstances we are facing in our state now,” said Fair CEO Kelly Violini. “But we are looking forward to a Monterey County Fair that will be bigger, better and safer in 2021. Instead of a setback, we can see this as an opportunity to improve, make changes and keep everyone safe.”

This action was taken pursuant to the state-of-emergency Executive Order N-33-20 issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom, as well as the follow-up directives from the state’s Public Health Officer Dr. Sonia Angell, (under California Government Code Sections 120125, 120140, 131080, 120130(c), 120135, 120145, 120175 and 120150.) This action was also in keeping with advice that has been provided by the Monterey County Department of Public Health.

In canceling the 2020 Fair, the Board of Directors cited local and statewide directives limiting mass gatherings, an assessment by the Monterey County Health Officer, who states that Stage Four events are not expected during the current year, and the fact that the California Department of Food and Agriculture has confirmed this assessment; thereby determining there was no other option but to cancel the Fair.

“We appreciate the support of all of our Fair partners and know that this decision will not necessarily come as a surprise given the current climate in our state,” said Violini. “The Board of Directors has put a plan in place for a closed exhibit program and livestock show and traditional junior livestock auction format, which will be offered virtually. And, there will be a drive-through fair food experience showcasing our sponsors and local businesses.”

The Monterey County Fair was scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 3 to Monday, Sept. 7, 2020, at the Monterey County Fair & Event Center, 2004 Fairground Road, in Monterey. The theme of the 2020 fair was “Fiesta” and was to celebrate the city of Monterey’s 250th birthday.

MONTEREY, CA — The Monterey County Fair & Event Center has announced the postponement or cancellation of events scheduled to take place at the center in the next few months due to the COVID-19 health emergency and the statewide Shelter-in-Place order.

The Home and Garden Expo of Monterey, scheduled for April 18-19, 2020; Monterey Bacon Festival, June 13; Monterey International Blues Festival, June 27; and Monterey Scottish Games and Celtic Festival, Aug 1-2; have all been cancelled, with no new dates announced.

The Artichoke Festival, scheduled for May 30-31, has been reschedule to Aug. 8-9, 2020; and the California Roots Music & Art Festival (Cali Roots), originally scheduled for Memorial Day weekend, May 22-24, has been rescheduled for Oct. 9-11, 2020.

“In light of this COVID-19 health emergency and Shelter-in-Place order, these major events have either cancelled outright or postponed until later in the year for the health and safety of its patrons,” said Kelly Violini, CEO of the Monterey County Fair & Event Center. “We will continue to inform the public on any cancellations or postponements of events at the fairgrounds. Our priority is the health and safety of the public and our employees.”

Violini also sent a letter to all 4-H, FFA and youth livestock exhibitors who were concerned about the status of the Monterey County Fair, especially in light of the cancellation of the Salinas Valley Fair.

“The Monterey County Fair is committed to supporting our area 4-H and FFA Livestock Exhibitors,” she wrote. “In the event of a cancellation, the Monterey County Fair is prepared to provide a virtual show and sale. We have been researching these options, and will be ready to launch this alternative platform if needed.”

Violini said the Fair is monitoring the situation daily with the CA Department of Food & Agriculture, the CDC, the County of Monterey and state health officials. If there continues to be a threat of the COVID-19 virus, there is a real possibility that the Fair could be postponed or cancelled, but more will known in early summer, she said.

As of now, Violini said the Fair is still scheduled to take place September 3-7, 2020, and that the entry guidebook is almost completed. 

Coronavirus / Monterey / Monterey County / Top Stories

KION546 News Team


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