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County fair officials continue to wait for guidance from New York State

Erie County Fair cancelled this year due to pandemic
Posted at 4:56 PM, Apr 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-26 23:18:35-04

HAMBURG, N.Y. (WKBW) — Following the announcement by Governor Cuomo Monday that the New York State Fair would return in August after being canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, county fair officials say they continue to wait for guidance from the state.

Erie County Fair officials held a press conference Monday and said each county fair is currently waiting for the state to issue guidance. Once that guidance is issued, officials can then decide if it will work for them regarding planning, financial investment and return, and staffing.

Those organizing the Erie County Fair say they continue to plan for when the fair is scheduled and the sooner the guidance is issued the better it is. They say if that guidance is similar to the state fair guidance, they should be able to go ahead with their plans.

"We want to have a fair. And it is in our plan to have a fair, but if that guidance is 10% and you need all these other boxes ticked it may not make sense. Looking at the State Fair guidance today, I think will be OK," said Jessica Underberg the CEO of the Erie County Fair.

With news about the State Fair, vendors like Jack Kolassa are hopeful for this summer.

"I was very relieved to see that because for so long here, obviously last year pretty much everything got canceled. This year we haven't heard a lot and had a lot of guidance," said Kolassa, the owner of The Big Cheese, a food stall that regularly attends the Erie County Fair.

The county fairs in Western New York are currently scheduled for the following dates:

  • Allegany County Fair - July 19 to 24
  • Chautauqua County Fair - July 19 to 25
  • Genesee County Fair - July 24 to 31
  • Orleans County 4-H Fair - July 26 to 31
  • Cattaraugus County Fair - August 1 to 8
  • Niagara County Fair - August 4 to 8
  • Wyoming County Fair - August 14 to 21
  • Erie County Fair - August 11 to 22

The New York State Fair is scheduled for August 20 to September 6 at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse and will operate at approximately 50% capacity. It will be split up into four separate areas to deal with capacity and crowd size.

The four areas will be:

  • Food and beverage
  • Amusement and rides
  • Concerts
  • Agriculture