Centre County Grange Fair canceled _ 2020

Photo of Centre County Grange Fair from 2019. Via Facebook

Cancellation notices for summer events continue to come in, this time for the Centre County Grange Encampment and Fair in August. The fair, which would have begun on August 21 at the fairgrounds in Centre Hall, is a weeklong annual event that brings in families from all over the state. Families come in RV's and camp in tents on the grounds to partake in the entertainment and amusement rides. This was to be the 146th year for the Grange Fair.

Ben Haagen, President of the Centre County Grange Fair Committee, made the announcement via Facebook on Wednesday: “It is with great sadness that the Centre County Grange Fair Committee announces the cancelation of the 2020 Centre County Grange Encampment and Fair due to concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic," he wrote.

"The health and safety of our tenting and RV families, fairgoers, staff, concessionaires, sponsors, entertainers, and others is of utmost importance. It is clear to us, the Grange Fair Committee, that we would be unable to adhere to the CDC mandates of social distancing protocols at this time," continued Haagan. "Thank you for your understanding and patience during these unprecedented times. We look forward to seeing everyone at the 2021 Grange Fair.”

Other fairs that have canceled for this year include the Lycoming County and Clinton County fairs, both held in July. This would have been the Lycoming County Fair’s 150th year and the first time they’ve had to cancel, according to organizers. 

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Yet, other county fairs are holding out. The Union County West End Fair, held every year in August at the fairgrounds in Laurelton, is still on for now. A Facebook post on their page says the 95th annual fair will only cancel “if the governor shuts down all state fairs.”

Beaver Community Fair, set every year in September in Beaver Springs, Snyder County, also announced via Facebook they have no intentions to cancel.

“The Beaver Community Fair would like to reassure the community, local businesses, our patrons, and our vendors, that the board of directors have no intention of canceling this year’s fair unless mandated to do so,” according to the Facebook post. “Our intentions are for the full fair to be held as always. In the event adjustments might need to be made, they would be done within safe guidelines, and the least intrusive way possible to our wonderful patrons.”

So far, the Bloomsburg Fair has also not canceled. The fair is set to run from September 25 through October 3 at the fairgrounds in Columbia County. This is one of the larger fairs in the state. Plans for the fair are still in the making, as the committee announced on Facebook on Thursday that singer Pat Benatar was booked to perform on September 29.

A Facebook post from April 26 states that the fair committee “continues to closely monitor the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. We are following the guidelines and recommendations as set by the CDC and PA state websites. We will be adjusting our policies and procedures as needed and continue to put safety first for our guests, families, and employees.”

Other fairs that have not announced cancelations as of yet include Tioga County Fair in August, Troy Fair in Bradford County in July, and Sullivan County Fair set for September in Forksville.

Though a few fairs will try to hold out, many other events this summer have already been canceled, including:

  • Little League World Series in August in South Williamsport
  • Pennsylvania Laurel Festival set for June in Wellsboro
  • UPMC Muncy Annual Lawn Party in June
  • Billtown Blues Festival set for June in Hughesville
  • Hops, Vines & Wines – Selinsgrove Beer & Wine Festival in July

Most concerts also are on hold, as many performers have rescheduled to next year. Spyglass Ridge Winery in Sunbury had lined up the Steve Miller Band, Third Eye Blind, and Jeff Dunham to perform this summer.

In the past few weeks, the winery announced all three have canceled. Only the Jeff Dunham show has been rescheduled, with a makeup date of June 12, 2021. 

When large events will be permitted to be held again is uncertain at this time. Currently, northcentral Pennsylvania counties are in the “yellow phase” of Governor Tom Wolf’s reopening plan. In this aggressive mitigation phase, gatherings of more than 25 people are not allowed, social distancing is required, and wearing of masks is encouraged.

When counties eventually move into the “green phase” more businesses will reopen, but the governor’s office has not given any clear direction if concerts or large events such as fairs will be able to proceed.