Yolo County Fair not open to public due to pandemic’s financial impact, organizers say

Local News

WOODLAND, Calif. (KTXL) — With Governor Gavin Newsom announcing June 15 as when the state would fully reopen, some counties are going ahead with scheduled summer events, but others are canceling them. 

“It’s like there is this return to normal and everyone is just so excited about the fair, and it just feels confusing and very disappointing,” said Woodland resident Rachael Hare. 

The Yolo County Fair Board announced this weekend the week-long event will be limited to those exhibiting animals for Future Farmers of America and their families. 

“The financial implications of hosting a typical Yolo County Fair with the same overhead costs as previous years, but far less revenue, could be devastating to our association,” said the board in a Facebook post. 

Hare is hoping the organizers will change their minds. She started a change.org petition, and she says the fair is the largest annual fundraiser for many community nonprofit and service organizations. 

The Yolo County Fair joins Fourth of July festivities in Davis and Sacramento’s Concert in the Park in waiting until next year before allowing the public back. 

But counties like Nevada and Placer announced dates for their fair, and Auburn plans to have Fourth of July festivities. 

“I think it’s a good idea to move forward with plans to allow more outdoor activities,” said Dr. Dean Blumberg. 

Blumberg, chief of pediatric infectious disease at UC Davis Health, says if the current vaccination rates continue, cities should proceed forward. But he also adds it’s hard to predict how things will be a month from now, let alone three. 

But organizers have to be flexible to shut things down if the pandemic worsens. 

“I think if you can make plans and then be prepared to change them, to postpone or cancel the plans, that is fine,” Blumberg said. “If you need more than three months lead time and you can’t make those plans other wise, then you just have to cancel if you are not confident.” 

Hare says she hopes the petition to bring the Yolo County Fair this year won’t divide people, but bring people together. 

“Woodland is such a do-it-for-community kind of town,” Hare said. “I think whatever they would ask for, I think people would be willing to come up with solution. I’m definitely willing to volunteer.”

Some who have canceled already say they believe if they schedule it and cancel it later, they will lose more money. 

FOX40 asked state fair organizers if the California State Fair will take place this year but have not heard back. 

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