2021 Cabarrus County Fair canceled due to increase in COVID-19 case counts
Due to low vaccination rates and community spread of COVID-19, Cabarrus County announced the cancellation of the 2021 Cabarrus County Fair. The event was scheduled for September 10-18.
Officials made the decision in consultation with public health and emergency management officials.
“It’s extremely disappointing to know another year will go by without the fair, especially since there was a pathway to normalcy through vaccination,” said Board of Commissioners Chair Steve Morris. “I hope the community understands the risk of holding a fair under these conditions.
“If we can get our vaccination rates higher, we’ll find our way back to life as we knew it.”
Cabarrus County Health Alliance (CHA), Cabarrus County’s public health authority, distributes information on local vaccination rates. On Tuesday, the data showed 50.6% of the eligible Cabarrus County population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
“We are as disappointed as everyone else with another long-standing tradition being canceled in Cabarrus County,” said CHA Public Health Director Dr. Bonnie Coyle. “With the exponential growth in cases, Delta’s higher infection rate and the strain on our hospital, I agree that this is the right decision. While we have such high transmission of this virus, I urge all Cabarrus County residents to get vaccinated if you are eligible, wear a mask when in public settings and unable to socially distance, and stay home when sick.”
The Cabarrus County Fair, managed by Cabarrus County, is the largest annual event held at the County’s Arena and Events Center. Each year, it welcomes up to 80,000 people from across the region over a nine-day span.
The Fair requires more than a year of planning by staff, volunteers and partners. It takes up the entirety of the Arena’s 25 acres of grounds and 170,000 square feet of exhibit space. It includes more than 2,000 livestock entries, 175 exhibit booths, 50 food vendors, 40 rides, 35 games and a couple dozen novelty vendors and entertainers.
County staff planned this year’s fair with added safety precautions, including required masking, but decision-makers ultimately determined the event could lead to severe and unnecessary consequences that could affect the entire region.
“We’re trying to aggressively protect our schools and hospitals—they are essential,” said Commissioner Morris. “We did all we could to make the fair happen safely, but as we watched COVID-19 infection rates rise, we realized no level of precaution would mitigate community spread.”
This is the second cancellation since the agricultural fair began in 1953.
Read the 2021 Fair Cancellation FAQ
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