It is with profound sadness and disappointment that the Avery Agricultural and Horticultural Fair Board announce that the 2020 Avery A&H Fair scheduled for September 2nd through 5th, 2020 will be cancelled.
Due to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Avery County Agricultural and Horticultural Fair announces the cancellation of the 2020 Avery A&H Fair. Officials made the difficult decision in consultation with public health and emergency management officials.
The Avery A&H Fair has been in place since 1993 and has not missed any year, including 2004 when two hurricanes hit the county causing bridge failures, and extreme flooding.
Since COVID-19 restrictions began, the board has developed and reviewed multiple scenarios that would allow the event to continue. With the recent increase in cases in the mountain counties, it has become apparent that the fair will not be able to operate normally.
The magnitude of implementing suggested recommendations for mass gathering safety measures would cause significant financial repercussions and compromise the Avery A&H Fair experience for all visitors, volunteers, and patrons. The safety of everyone in attendance is one of the biggest concerns dealt with on an annual basis. The risks associated with COVID-19 are too great to jeopardize the health of any volunteer or patron.
Consequences of the decision, including the tradition of the fair and its local economic impact, weighed heavily on the volunteer staff. Our fair brings awareness to local exhibitors and community groups and provides educational opportunities. It allows for our local farmers, gardeners, photographers, artisians, craftspeople, and children the opportunity to show to the entire community what skills they possess.
We are sure that some fair attendees would probably attend no matter the circumstance or ask that we wait to decide. Holding the fair under these conditions would not give our loyal attendees the experience they know, love, and expect. It is difficult to cancel, but at this point we have plans to return in 2021. We look forward to 2021 and are beginning to plan a big celebration! There’s a community-wide loss in not holding Avery A&H Fair this year, but by doing our part to limit the spread of COVID-19, we can look ahead to a time when we can safely gather again to celebrate the Avery A&H Fair with our community.
~Avery County Fair Board