Fletcher, NC (WSPA) – After nearly 30 years the North Carolina mountain state fair is cancelled this year. The fair is a tradition in North Carolina, it’s never been cancelled, but when facing a global pandemic organizers say social distancing would be a challenge.
For Robert Brown having fun in Western North Carolina is easy “Hiking, kayaking, art galaries” Supporter of cancelled fair, Robert Brown said.
For 27 years, people have enjoyed the North Carolina mountain state fair, but the tradition will be different in 2020.
“Regrettably we will not be having the 2020 Mountain State Fair and given what we know now at this point it’s the only prudent decision we can make.” NC Agriculture Commissioner, Steve Troxler said.
The Mountain State Fair costs more than $1 million to put on each year.
“ We had different contracts of the tents, golf carts, cleaning services just different things that we have that have to be the infrastructure of the fair.” NC Mountain state Fair, Manager, Matt Buchanan said.
The fair would have to commit to more than $500,000 in contracts and expenses by the end of July in order to operate this year. Brown understands the decision all too well, He had to permanently close his bar because of COVID-19.
“I know it stings, a lot of things are being cancelled for a lot of people.” Brown said.
Thousands of people usually visit the fair grounds over the 10 day event, so this closure is about more than money, It’s about the safety and health of visitors and staff, especially with covid-19 as a concern.
“We put this decision off and put it off to the very last minute I’m an optimist and I hoped something would change, but it hasn’t if anything it looks like it’s gotten a little bit worse than it was.“
North Carolina is only at phase 2 of re-opening. Social distancing measures and limiting the size of gatherings are still in place for the state. Those same restrictions would apply to the fairgrounds Those same restrictions would apply to the fairgrounds.
“ You can’t social distance in places like that it’s just impossible to do. And again a little bit of fun for the sake of a life it’s not worth it.“ Brown said.
The fair was scheduled to start September 11th, organizers are already planning for the fair to come back in 2021.
The Agricultural center’s cancellation affects 76 businesses to date due to Covid-19