The Lodi Agricultural Fair has been a strong community tradition for more than 150 years.

The fair provides an opportunity to showcase and share agriculture in a four-day, family-fun event, while supporting our local youth clubs and non-profit organizations. Thanks to an army of dedicated volunteers, the fair gates open to thousands of visitors, exhibitors, volunteers and first responders each year who become our Lodi Fair community.

“It is with deep concern for the health and public safety of our Lodi Fair community that the Lodi Agricultural Fair Board announces the cancellation of the 2020 Lodi Agricultural Fair, which was to be held July 9-12,” a news release states. “We have been communicating with our county health officials, state and national fair associations and others in the fair industry for the most current COVID-19 information available. The health and safety of all people associated with every aspect of our fair are top priorities. We thank you for your understanding. Please know this cancellation has been the most difficult decision our fair board has ever faced.”

The release goes on to say that fairs are all about bringing people together, but planning for the safety of thousands of people, including keeping all areas of the fair as clean as possible and practicing social distancing, we soon realized it would be too great of a challenge to host the same high-quality event for all to enjoy.

Everyone is encouraged to attend the 155th annual Lodi Agricultural Fair from July 8-11, 2021.

Lodi wasn’t the only place to cancel an annual fair recently. The Columbia County Fair, held in Portage also canceled its 2020 celebration.

Every year since the 1850s, the Columbia County Fair has joined with the people of Columbia County to provide a place to gather with friends and family to catch up with each other. The mission and purpose of the Columbia County Fair Association has been to promote the interests of agriculture, household economy and the industrial, mechanical and cultural arts through its annual fair and its exhibits. It provides an arena to showcase the efforts of both junior and open class exhibitors.

“After contact and consultation with the city of Portage and the Columbia County Health and Human Services department, the fair board of directors met to discuss the future of the 2020 Columbia County Fair. After consideration of the health, financial and societal issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, it is with an extreme deal of sadness and regret that the difficult decision to cancel the Columbia County Fair scheduled for July 22-26 was made,” Fair President Paul Becker wrote in a news release. “We fully realize how COVID-19 has had negative effects on big moments, experiences and milestones in all of our lives. The cancellation of the fair brings a great deal of disappointment to those people who plan, attend, exhibit, participate and support the fair. However the safety and well-being of all involved are of utmost importance. The difficulties encountered in social distancing, limiting the number of attendees, maintaining a high level of sanitization and insuring a safe and healthy experience as well as the liability involved were huge.”

The release goes on to say that the Columbia County Fair Association was so grateful and appreciative for all the effort and support from everyone who has had a part in the planning of the 2020 Columbia County Fair, no matter how large or small. It was one of the most difficult decisions that the board of directors had to make.

“We wish everyone good health and thank you for your support during this time. We are going to work hard on the 2021 fair making it one to remember to celebrate our past traditions and to make new memories at the 2021 Columbia County Fair scheduled for July 21-25, 2021,” Becker said.

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