In an emergency meeting last week, the Fair Board decided to cancel all events planned for this year’s fair, while maintaining hope they can salvage the junior livestock show and auction.
The board, along with Fair CEO Laura Ford, said that as the result of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, the safety of citizens and staff must come first when they consider any public event at the fairgrounds.
“Our hearts go out to our carnival ride provider, our still exhibit exhibitors, floriculture department, food and beverage concessionaires, concerts and entertainers, ticket sellers, non-profits organizations, auditors, clowns, and school arts and crafts,” Ford said in a statement. “The list could go on and on.”
In recent weeks, public officials have been monitoring the pandemic almost daily, hoping that local and state directives for sheltering-in-place would be loosened before summer, but most believe that is unrealistic.
At a briefing last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom spoke of the continued need to continue with strict measures to prevent the spread of the virus, although he gave no definitive dates for lifting restrictions and reopening the state.
“We need to continue practicing physical distancing,” Newsom said. “We need to apply – deeply apply – the stay-at-home orders. We are not out of the woods yet.”
Newsom added that the worst mistake the state could make, after so much progress has been made to bend the curve, is to pull back before putting into place a “very thoughtful” phase-in approach to opening the state and the economy.
In addition to downsizing the Colusa County Fair to possibly just a livestock auction, the Fair Board canceled all May events and rentals scheduled at the fairgrounds, including the Promo Paracuaro Rodeo, which was to be held on May 24.
The fair board will continue monitoring the Sars-CoV-2 directives by the state before deciding the fate of June events, such as scheduled weddings, Ford said.
As for the 2020 Fair, the intended theme “Barn in the USA,” could be oddly fitting this year, whether the Fair Board manages an onsite livestock show and auction, a virtual show and auction, or just a virtual auction only.
“This community knows that the Colusa County Fair has a phenomenal Junior Livestock Show and Junior Livestock Auction,” Ford said. “This community never disappoints to show their support for all 4- H, FFA and Independent Livestock Exhibitors. This year will be no exception! Even as we navigate through the unchartered territory, please know that the Colusa County Fair Board and staff will stand beside our 4-H, and FFA exhibitors.”