ESCANABA — Add the 2020 U.P. State Fair to the list of events canceled due to COVID-19.
This year’s program will be postponed until 2021, the U.P. State Fair Authority decided Tuesday.
“While the authority and the Delta County Chamber of Commerce are brokenhearted at the decision, we remain committed to the health and safety of the public,” said Phyllis French, authority chairwoman. “Canceling the fair complies with the law imposed by the governor’s executive orders and is the right decision to make to support the fair’s future viability and success.”
At the heart of the decision was the state’s current crowd size restrictions, which would vastly limit the ability to provide the same familiar experience that fairgoers are used to, said Vickie Micheau, executive director of the fair’s management agency, the Delta County Chamber of Commerce.
Skerbeck Entertainment Group, the fair’s carnival and midway operator, was also notified by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs that amusement devices, other than zip lines, are not permitted to operate at this time.
“Despite the postponement of this year’s state fair, the authority has asked the livestock departments to put together a plan to hold a livestock exhibition for our exhibitors,” said state Sen. Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, vice chairman of the authority and chairman of the fair’s Department Advisory Committee. “The DAC will work aggressively to keep faith with our exhibitors, particularly our youth, that have already put so much time and investment into their projects for this year by creating a show that follows the advice of the CDC and medical professionals.”
Micheau said organizers were quite confident that — if the state’s crowd size restrictions had increased — holding the fair would have remained possible.
“We hope and believe that the 2021 U.P. State Fair can return to truly be the ‘Best Fair Yet,’ and look forward to keeping alive one of Michigan’s favorite annual events during a safer, healthier time,” she said.
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