FRESNO, California (KGPE) – Organizers of the Big Fresno Fair said Tuesday the 2020 Big Fresno Fair is still on, despite the coronavirus pandemic and concerns over a second wave in the fall.
Each year, the Big Fresno Fair draws more than 600,000 people to the Fresno Fairgrounds and has a local economic impact of $72 million. This year, fair organizers expect the crowd size to be much smaller with limited capacity, although they have not provided specifics as it’s still in the planning stages.
”I’ve been going to the Big Fresno Fair as long as I can remember,” said Fresno resident Angela Martin. Martin said her family will sit this year out and hopes the fair makes the same call. ”The fair has always been a showcase of who we are in Fresno and the Central Valley, showing our art, industry, our culture, and I think it should show to the community what we really value as a community and that is the safety and lives of our citizens,” said Martin.
“There are people who won’t feel comfortable coming out and that’s okay. But there are people who need that glimmer of hope and need that something to look forward to,” said Big Fresno Fair Deputy Manager Lauri King.
King said although the fair is still on, it will look different. She said they are following the guidance of the state and local health department on how to safely plan.
“The most important thing is going to be the health safety and wellbeing of our fair goers, our staff and everyone involved. So if it’s not the safest thing to bring people in for the fair we have other scenarios and plans we are developing to find other ways for people to enjoy this community tradition,” said King.Fresno City Council President Miguel Arias urges the fair reconsider.
He provided the following statement:
“The best and responsible course of action is for Big Fresno Fair Board of Directors to cancel the fair. If not, it will only serve as a COVID-19 community spread disaster and unnecessarily expose our police officers and nearly 1 million residents to COVID-19. An event that attacks 700,000 residents and thousands of employees all in close proximity to each other is too dangerous for our collective public health. Cancellation would also allow us to use the fairgrounds for COVID relief efforts like food distribution and Medical services during a potential second wave of COVID.”
“Safety and the welfare and the health of everyone involved is our top priority so were going to do what is best for our community when we get to that point,” said King.
The 2020 Big Fresno Fair is scheduled for Oct 8-12 and 14-18 at the Fresno Fairgrounds.