The Warren County fair will not take place this year due to potential financial impacts.
Fair President Regan Kelsey said the fair’s insurance provider will not cover any COVID-19 claims, opening the fair board to a costly lawsuit. She said fair board members approached this as a business issue.
“We felt like it would be financially impossible, it would be too costly, to follow all those guidelines and still produce the event like we’re used to,” Kelsey said.
Kelsey said fair is the largest community and regional event for the county. He said because the fair does not charge admission, they don’t have enough funds for a potential lawsuit.
The fair is the largest fundraiser for several non-profits in the county. Out of 13 food booths, 11 are non-profits, not including other booths throughout the fair. Kelsey said it hurts they will not be able to participate this year.
“The fair is a celebration of life in Warren County,” Kelsey said. “We celebrate the past, the present, and the future. Every year our job is to promote agriculture and livestock and indigenous arts in Warren County with the livestock shows. We have the agricultural building where people can bring their entries.”
Not only is there a financial impact, but a psychological impact as well. Kelsey said although everyone is tired of 2020, he said one lawsuit could wipe out the fair for this and next year.
“The pandemic, just completely take that out of the equation because it’s not our job to disseminate information about death rates and how many people have it and whatnot. If you just take it to a bare bones decision and just look at the guidelines you have to follow, and could you do it without too much risk financially, it was a no.”