MAINE, USA — On the top of the Fryeburg Fair website, there's a countdown: 152 days left until this year's fair.
But because of COVID-19, that may not be the case.
Many fairs in Maine have decided to postpone until 2021 including, Acton Fair, Harmony Free Fair, Houlton Agricultural Fair, Litchfield Fair, Monmouth Fair, Northern Maine Fair, Ossipee Fair, Topsham Fair, and Waterford World's Fair.
Many others are still weighing their options including, Bangor State Fair, Blue Hill Fair, Clinton Lions Fair, Cumberland Fair, Farmington Fair, Fryeburg Fair, Maine Farm Days, Oxford County Fair, Piscataquis Valley Fair, Pittston Fair, Skowhegan Fair, Springfield Fair, Union Fair Maine Wild Blueberry Festival, and Windsor Fair.
The Common Ground County Fair announced on Tuesday it will be going virtual. Officials there said they are still working on all the details, but want to be sure to bring the fair to town this year, even if it's online.
Fryeburg Fair officials haven't made a decision on if they will hold a fair this year or not.
Fryeburg Fair president Roy Andrews said the coronavirus could potentially affect a lot when it comes to fairs.
"This virus is going to change quite a lot I suspect. And I'm sure some that some people are gonna be uncomfortable for years to come in large crowds. None of us know how that's gonna affect us," Andrews said.
In a recent study of the Fryeburg Fair, researchers found the fair has a $21 million dollar impact on the Oxford County community. And just last year, it had fairgoers from all 50 states and 17 countries.
"People like the well-rounded part of the fair and that's why people come from all over the country," Andrews added. "It's a fun place, a safe place, a clean place with an educational opportunity."
The Maine Association of Agricultural Fairs is working to help all the fairs in the state.
"For them to do brainstorming with each other to try to decide how they're gonna best protect public safety at their venues," Executive Director Barry W. Norris said.
Norris echoes the economic impact fairs have on their surrounding communities.
"Each fair has a different impact on their varying communities," Norris said. "All the fairs postponements affect a lot of people."
At NEWS CENTER Maine, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus
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