A 'Virtual' O.C. Fair Could Be Held This Year, Officials Suggest

The Orange County Fair was officially canceled due to the coronavirus after the event's board of directors voted unanimously Monday morning to scrub this year's event.

According to the Orange County Register, the chair of the Orange County Fair announced Sunday she would recommend canceling the event for this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, suggesting a 'virtual' event could take its place this year.

According to an email from Sandra Cervantes, chair of the OC Fair and Event Center's board of directors, she will recommend canceling the 2020 fair when the board meets Monday, and believes that other board members will concur, the outlet reported.

“The safety of the community is our main priority and based on the current landscape holding, a fair which attracts thousands of people would be very difficult with physical-distancing restrictions,” Cervantes said.

Last year, more than 1.39 million people attended the OC Fair during its 23-day run between July and August, generating around $11.8 million after expenses for the county, the newspaper reported.

Other annual fairs held across Southern California have already been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the county fairs of San Bernardino and San Diego, as well as the California State Fair.

“It's likely not feasible to hold the OC Fair later in the year,” Cervantes said, adding, “I will recommend hosting a virtual fair and focusing on future events unrelated to the fair. We will be back on track in 2021 as long as large gatherings are permitted at that time.”

Instead, Cervantes said the board would "do our best to provide a memorable experience this year," and proposed a virtual fair that would include “contests, competitions, entertainment and concessions to bring the fair experience to the community.”

She said the fairgrounds has reserve funds and “will do everything in our power to maintain the current workforce.” She added that fair officials hope some fairground activities can resume in the fall.

The OC Fair and Event Center board are scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. Monday. You can watch a livestream of the meeting at www.ocfair.com, under the 'public information' tab.

Photo: Getty Images

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