May 19, 2020
Contact: Karen Dobson,
Kimberton, PA -- The Board of Directors for the Kimberton Community Fair has officially announced the cancellation of the 2020 Fair which was scheduled to be held July 20-25.
COVID-19 has taken a significant toll on all of us. Residents in our local communities are suffering the effects of sudden unemployment, prolonged business closures and sickness or death of loved ones. While we all crave a return to our normal lives, our board realizes that the potential health risk of holding a fair this year is too great for our exhibitors, volunteers, and patrons.
The decision was not easy, nor was it taken lightly. We knew we needed to take a comprehensive approach in making the best decision. Many hours were dedicated to gathering facts and seeking advice from municipal authorities, the amusement company, our food concessions and other fair industry experts. We carefully monitored various resources - the Governor’s office, the PA Dept of Health, the PA State Association of County Fairs, the PA Department of Agriculture, the County, the Township – all in an effort to seek guidance on how to safely hold a large community event in the middle of a pandemic. We surveyed our volunteers and our exhibitors. When all the factors were considered, it came down to two main things: community safety and fiscal responsibility.
- Community Safety
Our fair directly benefits the local Kimberton Fire Company. The fire company’s primary concern is the safety and protection of the community. It is the Fair’s civic responsibility to stand behind that mission and also ensure that the safety of our volunteers and the public is a priority.
Based on what we have learned about the virus, large gatherings, such as a fair, offer more opportunities for person-to-person contact and therefore pose a great risk of COVID-19 transmission.
We also took into consideration the number of people who volunteer at our fair. They are the backbone of our organization! Many of them are older adults or persons with pre-existing health conditions who are at greater risk.
Currently our County is still in the red phase of the state’s re-opening process. Even if we made it to yellow or possibly green, governing authorities have still not issued definitive information on what restrictions would be imposed on mass gatherings or large community events.
- Fiscal Responsibility
Fair planning is a year-long venture. It involves hours of planning and preparation that typically begin the month after the last fair is over. There are so many factors – and expenses - that go into preparing for an event of this magnitude: advertising, competitive exhibit books, contest ribbons and awards, sanitation services, construction materials, signage, contract deposits for entertainment acts, donut and other fair food supplies, licenses and volunteer staffing. Therefore it is imperative that we make a decision now before too much effort and funds are expended.
We want to ensure that Kimberton Fair will be around for years to come. So it is our responsibility as a board to be good stewards of the financial resources that we have thanks to the tremendous support of our exhibitors and patrons all these years. We simply cannot in good conscience spend money planning for an event that may not be safely or legally permitted to take place.
As we stated above, planning for the next Kimberton Community Fair never ends. We will use this time to plan great things for next summer. Together, with the help and support from our community and volunteers, Kimberton Community Fair will come back better and stronger next year! So mark your calendars for July 26-31, 2021 when we will come back together to enjoy delicious donuts, enjoy a cold birch beer, take in the homemade exhibits and livestock competitions, watch Elvis perform under the stars and ooh and aah over the Friday night fireworks. We encourage you to follow us on our Facebook and Instagram pages to find out what’s in store for 2021.
Thank you for your understanding and your loyal commitment to the Kimberton Fair. Please remember to support our local first responders, businesses and non-profit organizations, as you are able, during this difficult time. We are incredibly grateful for our patrons, volunteers, exhibitors, and concessionaires, and cannot wait to see you next year!