The board overseeing the Orange County Fair is expected Monday to cancel its 2020 edition because of the coronavirus pandemic, following cancellations of the San Diego and San Bernardino county fairs.
Sandra Cervantes, chair of the OC Fair and Event Center’s board of directors, wrote in an email Sunday that she will recommend the cancellation of the fair at Monday’s board meeting and believes other 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.
The fair is scheduled to run from July 17-Aug. 16.
“It’s likely not feasible to hold the OC Fair later in the year,” Cervantes told The Register.
Cervantes told The Register the board doesn’t take a decision to cancel lightly, but “will do our best to provide a memorable experience this year.” She said she will “recommend hosting a virtual fair and focusing on future events unrelated to the fair.”
A virtual fair would include “contests, competitions, entertainment and concessions to bring the fair experience to the community,” Cervantes told The Register.
Cervantes pledged to “do everything in our power to maintain the current workforce.” The fairgrounds has reserve funds.
The 2019 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 Register.
Officials hope some activities can resume at the OC Fair & Event Center in the fall, Cervantes told The Register.
“We will be back on track in 2021 as long as large gatherings are permitted at that time,” Cervantes told The Register.
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