Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the board of directors for the Washington County Agricultural Society voted this week to cancel the 2020 Washington County Fair which was to be held July 29 – August 2.

“It was the hardest decision we have ever had to make,” said fair manager Dorie Ostertag. “I have been with the fair since 1994, and this is really sad.”

In the history of the Washington County Fair, there have been a few years that the fair has not gone on, Ostertag said, either to financial reasons or other world events, but this is the first time in recent history that the fair has been canceled due to a health issue.

“It was very difficult but we had to do what is right,” Ostertag said.

The decision was made based upon careful consultation with the county and other organizations; the difficulty of monitoring and enforcing social distancing requirements; the health and safety of the community, the fair’s vendors, carnival, staff, fair supporters, and exhibitors; as well as, to preserve the financial viability of the Washington County Agricultural Society to present future fairs.

“It was just not feasible,” Ostertag said. “There are too many people, too many unknowns. Whether it is low attendance or Mother Nature, we would hate to be in a position where we would not be able to put on a fair next year.”

The Washington County Fair board is looking forward to the 2021 fair where it will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first Washington County Fair. It is scheduled to take place August 4-8, 2021.

“We have that to look forward to and hopefully have a bigger and better fair,” Ostertag said. “We are working to make it special.”

Contact Alicia Lebens at alicia.lebens@ecm-inc.com

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