Wednesday morning, the Wayne County Livestock Development Association released the following statement regarding the 2020 Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair:
Due to the evolving COVID-19 situation, its impact on community health and well-being, the 2020 Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair has been cancelled.
The fair was scheduled to take place from October 1 through 10.
The safety of the fair's visitors, participants and community is the highest priority for the Wayne County Livestock Development Association in producing the annual fair. After reviewing CDC guidelines and taking direction from North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper's executive order, it became clear that cancellation was the prudent choice for the fair to do its part to improve and support community health and safety, and reduce the cycle of infection.
The fair planning committee has spent countless hours exploring every possible option and has postponed cancellation as long as possible.
We are 50 days out and a decision had to be made. When you consider the cost to put on the fair when we may be cancelled by others or have very limited attendance, in addition to addressing safety and social distancing issues, the board of directors ultimately determined cancellation was our best choice.
"The impact of the fair's cancellation will be felt far beyond the loss of our annual event," said Eddie Pitzer, fair manager. "We are disappointed for the local non-profits, local businesses, competitors, exhibitors, and community outreach groups who support us year after year and rely on the income and exposure the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair brings them."
"We regret having to cancel scheduled entertainers, food vendors, and the carnival operator. We realize these businesses are dependent on fairs for their livelihood."
"We look forward to holding the 72nd Annual Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair in 2021, when we can gather again for our tradition of agriculture, education, and family entertainment with our community." Eddie Pitzer said. "Until then, stay safe, be well and support each other. We'll miss you."
In the meantime, the Wayne County Livestock Development Association is dedicated to using its facilities and resources to support and serve the community.
For example, the fairgrounds are used as a staging area for Duke Energy during natural disasters and to provide campground sites for volunteers with Habitat for Humanities. All other non-fair events and group meetings scheduled on the fairgrounds have been cancelled or postponed until it is deemed safe to host large gatherings.
For more information about how the cancellation impacts participants, vendors and other stakeholders, visit waynefair.com or call the fair office at 919-735-7277.
The Wayne County Livestock Development Association Inc. is a non-profit organization that promotes the livestock industry, operates an annual Agricultural Fair, promotes agricultural youth activities, and the agricultural heritage in Wayne County. The Livestock Association has operated the fair since 1948, this year would have been the 72nd fair.
The Livestock Association has provided $255,800 in scholarships to area students that have participated in association activities since 1986.