GRANT COUNTY, Wash. - The 2020 Grant County Fair, which was expecting to see 100,000 people over five days, has been canceled.
The Grant County Sheriff's Office related the news from Fair Director Jim McKiernan in a Facebook post.
"We put quite a bit of planning into this year's fair and had some great entertainment lined up," McKiernan said. "But the regulations for reopening and the Health District requirements made the fair financially unfeasible."
The Grant County Fair was originally scheduled to take place August 18-22. However, the fairgrounds was notified by the Health District recently that there was now way the carnival could safely be part of the fair this year.
"We have been on constant conference calls with other fairs, our livestock committee, the WSU Extension office, staff and the county commissioners. Many other fairs look to the Grant County Fair as an example of a true Ag-based fair and applauded out efforts to move forward despite overwhelming odds," McKiernan said.
"But it became obvious late last week with the health district's notice that the state may not even move to Phase 4 until after summer. There was no way we could manage the crows expected and still adhere to the social distancing rules," he continued.
McKiernan also added that large concerts planned were also set to be held in a festival seating venue, which wouldn't have allowed for proper social distancing.
The fair and livestock committee are still working to plan some type of showing and judging for youth who have purchased animals.
"We are one of the largest livestock auctions in the state," McKiernan said. "We need to do something to help these kids get their livestock projects completed and the animals sold."
Details of the potential showing will be sent out through the Fairgrounds' Facebook page and website once plans are finalized.
Fairgrounds staff will be processing reimbursements for carnival wristbands, vendor payments and fair camping over the next few weeks.