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Lycoming County Fair postponed a year

By Staff | Apr 22, 2020

It was not an easy decision for the Lycoming County Fair Association Board members to cancel the upcoming fair in Hughesville. Health and safety of the workers, staff and thousands of visitors had to be taken into consideration, as the emergency involving COVID-19 lingered into planning stages, said Rocky Reed, the fair association board president.

“Nothing I have seen written – even if the economy is open in the summer – says that large gatherings will be allowed,” he said.

With 80-plus days to go from the opening on July 8, the board decided just days ago, he said.

“We’ve postponed until July 2021,” he said.

Next year will be the fair’s 150th celebration, with the fair only closing in 1868, during World War II, and for the virus this year, he said.

The unknown variables with COVID-19 and its impact on large gatherings required hours of discussion by board members.

“We had to consider as a board the 100 individuals sitting on various committees, and did not want them to have to come into the fair office and be potentially exposed or worry about it,” said Karen Yaw, fair secretary.

Likewise, the musical and entertainment acts, the amusement company and any fair vendor has to be notified far ahead, she said.

Reed and Yaw acknowledged their surprise to hear reactions from those who’ve heard on social media about the postponement.

Most are saying, ‘The fair is in mid-July, Why the early decision? Why not wait?’ he said.

Planning for the next fair begins a week after the fair ends, they said.

“We started preparing for the 150th celebration a year before the last year’s fair,” Reed said.

“It’s going to be hard for me not to see the fair this year,” Yaw said.

These are friends, families and neighbors, she said.

The impact on the area youth who display and hold contests with livestock is a blow for those at the county 4-H Clubs, according to a spokeswoman for 4-H at Penn State Extension office.

“It is too early to decide what, if anything, the 4-H participants can do as a possible alternative,” the agency spokeswoman said.