JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – At a time when we are starting to see some signs of Jacksonville’s reopening at schools and football games and bars, COVID-19 is now forcing a major event in the city to be canceled — The Greater Jacksonville Agriculture Fair.
The popular event was slated to start Nov. 5 and run for 10 days but now organizers say it would be unsafe to hold the event.
Some people like Tajanae Hamilton who like to attend the fair with her family say it seems unfair to cancel the fair.
“I think that’s really sad. I really like the fair to go with my family and have fun. It’s sad and disappointing, but hey, it is a pandemic going on,” Hamilton said.
And it’s because of the pandemic that the CEO and President of the fair Bill Olson says they have to cancel this year’s event.
“The fair isn’t the place to keep people apart, it’s to bring people together,” Olson said.
It’s a decision some say is surprising.
The fair is not just a loss to those who enjoy the rides but it’s a huge loss for the agriculture community, particularly 4-H members who show animals and horticultural and craft projects. Those shows are traditionally held during the fair.
“You can have all the signage in the world about staying 6 feet apart and wearing mask, but human nature at the fair, people congregate together they go to the midway, they go to the games and go to the rides. And it would be too hard to try and keep people spread out,” Olson said.
While the fair is canceled for this year, there are plans to bring it back in November of 2021.