For the first time since WWII, the Washington Parish Fair has been cancelled.
Organizers had no choice but to cancel the 2020 Washington Parish Fair due to Coronavirus.
In 108 years, the Fair has previously only been cancelled four times: Once in 1918 for the Spanish Flu epidemic, and three times during WWII.
The very difficult decision to cancel the nation's largest free fair was made last Monday night by the Fair Association. The Association was between a rock and a hard place. If the 2020 Fair was actually going to happen, contracts needed to be signed and commitments needed to be made. But no one could realistically predict exactly what was going to happen with the Coronavirus situation during the next two months.
It was that very uncertainty that led the members of the Association to realize that their options were very limited. So the decision was made to cancel the 2020 Fair and to start focusing on the 2021 Fair with the intention of making it one of the biggest and best Fairs ever.
The news was met with surprise and even shock in Washington Parish, but staffers of The Era-Leader didn’t talk to a single person who didn’t understand completely why the heartbreaking decision had to be made.
The FairAssociation released the following statement:
"The Washington Parish Fair Officers, Board of Directors and Committee Chairmen have been monitoring the Covid-19 situation and its impact on our community and fair. The planning of the fair takes advance preparation coordinating numerous vendors, scheduling entertainment and hosting large crowds made up of both locals and guests from all over the country .
We depend on community businesses for sponsorships to hold the fair and requesting such sponsorships during these challenging times does not seem appropriate.
It is with DEEP sadness that we have made the decision to cancel the 109th Washington Parish Fair for 2020.
This was a difficult decision not made in haste and is based on the current restrictions outlined by our state government as well as the uncertainty of what is to come in the next several months. The safety and well-being of our volunteers and visitors, as well as our ability to produce an event to the standards of our fair-goers are accustomed to and deserve can not be guaranteed.
We thank everyone for their understanding and support during this difficult time. In the meantime, please mark you calendars for the “BIGGEST and BEST” Washington Parish Fair EVER, celebrating our 110th anniversary, on October 20-24, 2021."
PHOTO: The empty fairgrounds. No Fair this year.