Annual Durham, Berlin fairs canceled due to coronavirus

Annual Durham, Berlin fairs canceled due to coronavirus

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DURHAM — The Durham Fair and the Berlin Fair have both been canceled this year due to the pandemic. 

The more than 100-year-old Durham Fair has been canceled four times before, for natural disasters and war. It would have been held Sept. 24-27. 

Daniel Miramant, president of the Durham Agricultural Fair Association, said in a statement Thursday that the decision on whether to hold the fair has been on the minds of the planning committee for weeks. 

Miramant cited the lasting uncertainty of the virus, potential resurgence in the fall and the health, safety and logistical impacts on volunteers, guests and the community. 

“Knowing that we are the largest country fair in the State of Connecticut as well as one of the state’s largest mass gathering events, has played a critical role in this decision,” he said. “We have been consistently monitoring the progress of both Federal and State guidelines to determine its impact on our Fair.”

Miramant said they are committed to returning “stronger than ever” in the fall of 2021. 

On Wednesday, the Berlin Fair board of directors announced on Facebook the cancellation of their 2020 fair as well. It would have been held Sept. 18-20. 

Gary E. Schmidt, Berlin Fair president, said in a statement that the decision was made with heavy hearts. 

“We take great pride in the fact that this is the Premier Event for the town of Berlin and surrounding areas for 71 years,” he said. “It has been and will continue to be a big part of the lives of members, vendors, and fair patrons in the years to come.”

Members of the Berlin Lions Club still plan to make fairground and building upgrades this year, in preparation for the return of the fair in 2021. The club operates the fair. 

In April, the Plainville Hot Air Balloon Festival was also cancelled due to the coronavirus. The festival usually happens in August.

The Big E, in West Springfield, Massachusetts, is currently still scheduled for Sept. 18 to October 4. 

bwright@record-journal.com203-317-2316Twitter: @baileyfaywright

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