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Fairs across Pennsylvania cancelled because of COVID-19

Many fairs benefit their respective fire departments which are now losing fundraising dollars. The Mountville Fire Company is getting creative to raise the cash.

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — Fairs across the state have either been cancelled or postponed because of COVID-19. It has a trickle down effect on the fire companies which rely on  fundraising from those events and the vendors who sell food at them.

People hoping to take in the sights, sounds, and tastes at the Ephrata Fair will just have to wait until next year. It's cancelled due to COVID-19 safety concerns.

What should've been the 2020 York State Fair is also cancelled for the same exact reason. It's the first cancellation since the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic.

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The Elizabethtown Fair is also off, and the Mountville Carnival had to be cancelled too.

"Our main carnival, which is our big fundraiser, was completely cancelled because of COVID," explained Peter Taraborelli, spokesperson for the Mountville Fire Company.

On a good year, without rain, Taraborelli says the carnival can bring in anywhere between $15,000-$18,000 for the fire company, which he says pays the utilities at the firehouse. When the carnival had to be cancelled, the company had to get creative to raise the cash.

"We had to turn it into a food truck drive through," explained Taraborelli. "That went very very well, but unfortunately, we didn't make as much as we would have if we had the carnival itself."

The event raised approximately $13,000 for the fire company, so this weekend, the Mountville Fire Company will hold what they're calling the 'food truck event 2.0.' This time around, people can actually get out of their cars and walk to get their food.

"There is going to be social distancing, there is going to have to be masks, but the nice thing is we have more diversity on the food," said Taraborelli. "e also have Farm Show milkshakes coming out."

Fortunately for Mountville Fire Company, it's not in hot water, but Taraborelli says that doesn't mean it doesn't need help.

"A lot of fire departments that are in a lot worse shape than we are," said Taraborelli. "We still need the support. We still welcome it. We do not have a fire tax, so we are not taxpayer funded directly. If you want us to keep responding, we need to have  money coming in."

The Pennsylvania State Association of County Fairs' theme for 2020 is 'Making Memories One Fair At A Time'. It's safe to say wannabe fair goers are just going to have to wait until next year to make those memories. 

For a list of fair cancellations across the Pennsylvania, follow this link.

Convention for fairs, associates and showmen with something for everyone: showcase, trade show, seminars, table topics, meetings, meals and lots of fun.

The Mountville food truck event runs Friday and Saturday.

Friday 4:00pm to 9:00pm
Saturday 11:00am to 9:00pm

For more information, visit the fire company's Facebook page.