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Shippensburg cancels 2020 Community Fair; Lebanon Area Fair announces major modifications due to COVID-19 safety concerns

The Lebanon Area Fair is scheduled to go on this year, but without a midway, many exhibitions, games, or shows, organizers say
Credit: FOX43

One area community fair has been canceled and another is making major changes in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Organizers of the Shippensburg Community Fair announced Tuesday that this year's Fair has been canceled due to the outbreak.

The announcement was posted on the Fair's Facebook page.

"We are heartbroken to announce the cancellation of the 2020 Shippensburg Community Fair," the post said. "This was a very difficult decision based mainly on the safety of our community. We could not wait any longer to make this decision, as we would jeopardize the many community organizations that are involved in making our event a success.

"Without clear guidance from governing authorities, we do not have the ability to continue to plan for an event that may not be safely or legally executed. Please know that we are incredibly thankful for the continued support of our volunteers, exhibitors, and visitors, and we look forward to a strong return next year from July 26-31, 2021!"

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Meanwhile, the chairman of the Lebanon Area Fair said Wednesday that the event is still planned for this year, but added major changes will be made out of safety concerns.

In a Facebook post Wednesday, chairman Dan Siegel said this year's Fair will have no track events, midway shows, rides and carnival games, indoor or outdoor commercial exhibits, or open classes of entries (Departments 1-9 and 12-23).

Instead, Siegel said, the fair is "looking into creative ways that we can accommodate the following:"

  • 4-H/FFA/Youth entries of indoor exhibits (Departments 10 and 11)
  • 4-H/FFA/Youth animal entries and shows (Departments 10 and 11)
  • Live-Streaming or other publishing of exhibitions
  • The extremely popular barbeques to benefit 4-H and FFA youth activities at the Fairgrounds
  • Applications and fundraising for Fair Scholarships
  • Possible accommodations for food vendors such as drive-through or take-out options
  • Sponsors who have provided financial support on a yearly basis

"Our actions show a clear intent to carry out our core organizational purpose," Siegel said. "We still offer absolutely no definitive assurances that we will succeed at being able to provide the accommodations that we are exploring.

"We ask for everyone’s continued patience as we work through the logistics associated with each possibility listed above. We will post updates on our Fair’s website (www.lebanonareafair.com) and on the Lebanon Area Fair Facebook page. We will also communicate with 4-H and FFA coordinators directly."

Siegel said the decision to make the changes was not made "without careful thought and spirited debate." 

"We completely understand the disappointment that our loyal exhibitors and faithful fairgoers are feeling," he said. "We have shed tears over our decision. Nevertheless, we look forward to making the most of the hand we have been dealt in 2020 and, more enthusiastically than ever, we are looking forward to our 2021 Fair."