PORT TOWNSEND — For the first time since World War II, the Jefferson County Fair has been canceled due to health and safety concerns stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The county fair was scheduled for the weekend of Aug. 7, but the Jefferson County Fair Association announced Friday that summer event will not happen this year.
“The JCFA feels this decision is in the best interest for the health and safety of our community and our fair,” Sue McIntire, Jefferson County Fair manager, said in an email Friday. “We will miss seeing you all at our old-fashioned country fair and missing the chance to come together as a community.
“Rest assured, we will be back in 2021 stronger than ever.”
Next year’s fair is scheduled for Aug. 13-15, McIntire said.
Discussions on whether or not to have the fair this summer started in March, when Gov. Jay Inslee issued his “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, said McIntire, who added doesn’t believe restrictions will be lifted enough for the fair to take place this year even if it wasn’t canceled, she said Monday.
“When we started to find out more about the restrictions that (Inslee) was putting on things, we just found that it’s not safe for the community, and there were far too many restrictions and whether or not [the county] would even be open enough for us to put on the fair,” McIntire said.
“It was hard for us to come to a decision,” she said. “The fair is so important to all of us, otherwise we wouldn’t be doing it. It’s the one time you come together as a community, as a family, and it was so hard for us to (cancel it) because that’s what we all need right now is to be able to have that sense of community.
“We just felt that it wouldn’t be safe for us to do that right now.”
To help fill the gap, the fair association will put on virtual events, and the team is meeting this week to determine what they will be, McIntire said.
Also canceled is the community garage sale/flea market that was scheduled for June 27. It may be rescheduled for this fall, but a date has not been determined, McIntire said.
The Jefferson Holiday Fair is still scheduled for Nov. 7-8, McIntire said.
Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at [email protected].