FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — The 2020 Great Frederick Fair is officially canceled.
“I can tell you this decision wasn’t taken lightly,” explained general manager for the event, Karen Nicklas, “I get teary-eyed talking about it myself. I’ve never missed a fair my entire life so it’s heart breaking.”
The fair’s board of directors made the announcement on Wednesday evening, citing public health concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Fair Board has determined that to follow the CDC and state and local health department
recommendations would result in eliminating some of our GREATEST Fair traditions and make
others unrecognizable,” a press release stated.
Ahead of the decision, Nicklas says the board discussed different scenarios to continue with the opening of the fair slated in September. Plans included the addition of hand wash stations throughout the venue, a face mask requirement, and limited seating for Grandstand events.
“You could limit the number of people in your buildings, you could limit the number of people in attendance to the fair. At this point there was no chance in having our entertainment lineup. We didn’t want a deliver half of an event, we want to deliver what everyone is used to in this town as the Great Frederick Fair,” Nicklas said.
The event has been a local staple for more than a century. In its history, the fair has only ever been cancelled three times–during the 1918 Influenza Pandemic and in 1942 and 1943 during World War II.
“We certainly will bounce back from this and we look forward to an even greater 2021 fair,” Nicklas said.
The non-profit organization is trying to salvage their main mission of agricultural education.
Plans are to host an invitational live stock show at the fairgrounds.
The Fair Board said everyone who has purchased a ticket will be contacted within the next 30 days.
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