(PRESS RELEASE/NE Washington Fair)
Late Tuesday afternoon the Board of County Commissioners met with representatives of Northeast Tri- County Health, 4-H, NE WA Fair Board, the fair’s County insurance carrier, and the fair manager to discuss the Northeast Washington Fair scheduled to occur in late August. They discussed many different scenarios on how to hold the fair safely under the current restrictions. The County anticipates being in Phase 3 COVID restrictions by the end of this week, or early next week, but in order for the fair to occur in a somewhat normal manner, the County would have to be in Phase 4.
Organizers were advised that it is unlikely that we will enter Phase 4 of the COVID restrictions in time for the fair. They were also informed that WSU, which oversees the 4-H program, will not allow their members to participate in any fair where the county is not in Phase 4. Further, the restrictions placed on a fair by the state fair board would have been difficult, if not impossible to meet. From a liability perspective, vendors would probably not be able to get insurance to participate. The health department advised the fair as to what would need to occur holding a event under the Phase 3 restrictions.
In the end, all entities reluctantly suggested that we cancel the fair this year.
“It is with a heavy heart that we make this decision,” was stated multiple times by the County Commissioners. “In the end, we had to make this choice.”
However, having made this decision now will allow all of us to facilitate some type of a “fat sale” to support all of the youth that have raised an animal to show. 4-H is working on how to put together virtual shows for small animals and youth with projects. These may be small events that take place over several weekends which would allow participants to observe the current restrictions on the size of allowable gatherings. Our fair manager, 4-H leaders, the fair board, and the County Commissioners are committed to do what we can to support these mini events to support our youth that have worked so hard on their animals and project.
More information will come forward later as we plan these activities to support the youth of Stevens County.