PLEASANTON — Organizers of the Alameda County Fair announced Thursday that they were officially canceling the popular annual summer event for the first time in its 108-year history due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
The fair held at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton every June has been a traditional summer destination for nearly a half million visitors annually. The current coronavirus shelter-at-home order from the Alameda County Public Health Department and the State of California’s ongoing order led officials to cancel the event that was scheduled to run from June 19 – July 12.
In the issued press release about the closure, organizers noted that large mass gatherings like the fair would be among the last types of events allowed by the state during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Alameda County Agricultural Fair Association has actively been following state and county officials in an effort to comply with public health mandates,” said Fair CEO Jerome Hoban in the release. “The health and safety of guests, staff, and partners continues to be our number one priority, our team is updating protocols and guidelines so that when allowed, we can safely welcome the community back to the venue.”
The 18-day county fair is the largest annual event in Alameda County. Additionally, the Alameda County Fairgrounds are also home to nearly 300 year-round events, bringing a significant economic impact to the region with over $32 million in revenue generated locally and nearly 900 additional jobs provided during the fair.
“As much as we love putting on the Fair and bringing the community together, it is clear that it is best to postpone Fair this year. We will celebrate together again in 2021,” said Fair Board President Gordon Galvan. “Canceling the Fair is devastating to our team and partners who come from across the country to entertain the Alameda County community.”
While the event has been canceled, organizers are working to make virtual live horse racing without in-person spectators, competitive fair livestock exhibits and craft contests and the Jr. Livestock Auction available online this summer while abiding social distancing requirements set by the state and county.
Anyone who had previously purchased tickets for this year’s fair can find information on refunds at the fair website. Orangizers are exploring the concept of holding a community celebration in the fall if coronvirus restrictions have been lifted and will allow such a gathering.
The Alameda County Fairgrounds is currently partnering with Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare (SHC – VC) and the cities of Pleasanton, Dublin and Livermore to provide a regional drive-through coronavirus testing site that opened in late April.