2020 Grant County Fair canceled

by Cheryl Schweizer
Staff Writer | June 2, 2020 8:55 PM

MOSES LAKE — The Grant County Fair has been canceled for this year. The cancellation was recommended by fair manager Jim McKiernan and approved by the Grant County commissioners last week.

“The regulations for reopening and the (Grant County) Health District requirements made the fair financially unfeasible,” McKiernan said.

Health district officials had expressed concerns about having a carnival and concerts, McKiernan said, citing the difficulty of maintaining social distancing. In light of that, carnival owner Davis Shows decided to cancel, McKiernan said.

In addition, McKiernan said he spoke with GCHD director Theresa Adkinson, and she told him Washington Department of Health officials were skeptical the state would be in the final phase of the reopening plan by August. Gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited until the final phase.

The fairgrounds hosts events throughout the year, from fundraising events to horse shows. But the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak has caused numerous event cancellations from March through June. Events in July are also being canceled. All that has meant a severe hit to the fairgrounds’ finances.

McKiernan estimated the fairgrounds has lost about $323,000 in 2020 due to canceled events. Without the carnival and concerts as attractions, chances are the fair would lose money as well, he said.

Fair officials are working with volunteers on the fair livestock committee to come up with an alternative livestock show, which would start Aug. 18. One of the options under discussion would limit exhibitors to one animal, McKiernan said.

McKiernan said people who have already purchased carnival wristbands would be reimbursed, along with any vendors who have already registered.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at education@columbiabasinherald.com.