The chair of the Orange County Fair Sunday announced that she will recommended canceling the annual event due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report.
Sandra Cervantes, chair of the OC Fair and Event Center’s board of directors, wrote in an email Sunday that she will recommend canceling the 2020 fair when the board meets Monday, and she said she believes other board members will concur, the Orange County Register reported.
“The safety of the community is our main priority and based on the current landscape holding, a fair which attracts thousands of people would be very difficult with physical-distancing restrictions,” Cervantes said.
Last year’s fair attracted 1.39 million people during its 23-day run in July and August, and netted the county $11.8 million after expenses, according to the newspaper.
Already canceled are the county fairs of San Bernardino and San Diego, as well as the California State Fair.
“It’s likely not feasible to hold the OC Fair later in the year,” Cervantes said, adding, “I will recommend hosting a virtual fair and focusing on future events unrelated to the fair. We will be back on track in 2021 as long as large gatherings are permitted at that time.”
Cervantes said the board doesn’t take a decision to cancel lightly, but “will do our best to provide a memorable experience this year.” She said a virtual fair would include “contests, competitions, entertainment and concessions to bring the fair experience to the community.”
She said the fairgrounds has reserve funds and “will do everything in our power to maintain the current workforce.” She added that fair officials hope some fairground activities can resume in the fall.
The OC Fair and Event Center board will meet at 9 a.m. Monday. Information on how to watch a livestream of the meeting or call in public comments is at ocfair.com under the “public information” tab.
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