Organizers are preparing as if there will be a Stanwood-Camano Community Fair this summer, but can’t yet officially confirm the event is a go.
“The main issue is that at this time the Fair Board does not have enough information from the state or health departments to make a decision on the fair this summer," fair Board of Directors president Austin Bougie said in a statement.
Officials said they’re already fielding questions from fair-goers asking if the popular summer event will be back after its first-ever hiatus in its 87-year history.
The Stanwood Camano Community Fair is the largest community fair in Washington, typically drawing about 14,000 attendees each year. The three-day event showcases the community with more than 3,000 entries from more than 1,000 exhibitors who present history, livestock, produce, baked goods, flowers, arts and crafts.
As a private nonprofit organization, the largest source of income for the fair is its gate receipts.
“If we cannot have enough attendance to at least break even, we just can’t put on a fair and lose money,” said Bougie, adding that the fair receives no financing from the city or county.
Meanwhile, fair organizers said they continue to watch vaccine rollout plans, local COVID-19 data and information from health departments to best make a decision for this summer.
“The SCCF Board takes seriously its responsibility to provide a safe venue and experience for all the volunteers, sponsors, vendors, entertainers, exhibitors, animals and the entire community who attends our event,” fair manager Belinda Royal said in a statement. “We hope our fair-goers understand that in order to do this, we cannot operate at a loss.”
Royal said the Fair Board has purchased sanitizer stations and plans on other measures for public safety.
If the fair gets the go-ahead, this year’s theme is “We're Back in the Saddle.”
“That’s what the community needs after over a year of lockdown," Royal said.