WATERVILLE - The North Central Washington Fair in Waterville will not take place this year due to a number of roadblocks created by the state’s “Safe Start” reopening plan during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fair was set for Aug. 26-30. Fair organizers say the decision to cancel was not taken lightly but the COVID-19 rules and restrictions made it impossible to hold the fair.
“Fair staff, our board and the Douglas County commissioners have worked very hard to try and make this year’s fair plan work,” fair officials stated. “All possible avenues or changes were explored but none could solve the problems created by Washington’s “Safe Start” reopening plan. We do not have the means to temp check each visitor, to have social distancing in our food lines, vendors or our carnival area. We cannot ask our race and rodeo fans to sit 6 feet apart or limit the amount of attendees. We know Granger Smith would have been a sold out show and unfortunately that doesn’t make social distancing possible.”
Carnival rides would have likely had to operate at 25 to 50 percent capacity and the rides would have needed to be sanitized between each group of riders.
Fair officials say a major percentage of their volunteers are over the age of 65, which makes them high risk for complications from COVID-19.
“Unfortunately this is the right decision to make, no matter how hard it is,” fair officials stated.
Fair organizers are working on a plan that would allow for some sort of livestock show and sale for 4-H and FFA members.