Financial impact felt from postponed and cancelled fall fairs during the pandemic
Published Monday, August 10, 2020 6:33PM EDT
ABERFOYLE -- The cancellation of local fall fairs due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been hitting the usual vendors, exhibitors, and local businesses hard financially.
Organizers of the Aberfoyle Fall Fair say the postponing of the annual event to Sept. 10, 2021 has meant disappointment for the community and significant financial loss for businesses in the town.
“This would have been our 180th fall fair,” said Joanne Holt, vice-president of the Aberfoyle Agricultural Society. “[It usually brings in] around $200,000 to local community businesses.”
Holt usually handcrafts and exhibits her jams, jellies and preserves at the event, but will now have to wait until 2021.
For Rockton’s World Fair, their cancellation means thousands of exhibitors and vendors unable to present a showcase.
“It’s certainly going to be a big loss for us and we’re going to miss seeing everybody,” said Katrina Wierczorek, officer coordinator for the Rockton Agricultural Society. “We welcome 60,000 to the grounds for thanksgiving weekend.
“Our amusement company play a huge part in our fair and they’re losing major income as well.”
Kitty Uhlemann, the owner of the Kitty’s Ice Cream Garage in Rockton, describes the World’s Fair as ‘the pinnacle of all of it.’
“There’s been car groups here, equestrian events, dog shows, so it was really fun last summer at the fair,” she said.
The Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions is calling on the government for $74 million in financial support due to cancelled events.
“It’s killing their reserves right now, which means they don’t have the funds to go into next year,” said Christina Franc, executive director of the association.
Here are some of the fall fairs that have been cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19:
- Paris Fair -- Sept. 3 to 7 -- Cancelled
- Aberfoyle Fair -- Sept. 11 to 12 -- Postponed
- Cambridge Fair -- Sept. 11 to 13 -- Cancelled
- Six Nations Fair -- Sept. 11 to 13 -- Cancelled
- Wellesley Fair -- Sept. 15 to 16 -- Cancelled
- New Hamburg Fall Fair -- Sept. 17 to 20 -- Postponed
- Fergus Fall Fair -- Sept. 18 to 20 -- Cancelled
- Caledonia Fair -- Oct. 1 to 4 -- Postponed
- Rockton World's Fair -- Oct. 8 to 12 -- Cancelled
- Burford Fall Fair -- Oct. 9 to 12 -- Postponed
More information on cancelled and postponed fairs around Ontario can be found here.