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Erie, Niagara, Genesee, Cattaraugus county fairs are a go this summer

Erie County Fair

The Erie County Fair starts Aug. 11, with most of the other county fairs in Western New York looking to another summer run, as well.Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday said the state is opening up, going along with the Centers for Disease Control's new capacity rules. That eases mask rules, although it still requires social distancing.

Cuomo also gave the go-ahead for county fairs, but said there will be more state rules.

"Big part of the state. Big part of Upstate New York. They are all allowed to open up to the capacity of 6-feet social distancing. The local department of health will issue a permit. New York State Department of Health approves events over 5,000. Private operators can, again, set their own rules or a government-owned venue can set additional rules," he said.

The announcement requires Erie County Fair officials to make many decisions.

"Following the Governor’s announcement at today's press conference, The Erie County Agricultural Society Board of Directors and staff are excited to move forward with the 2021 edition of the Erie County Fair, scheduled for August 11-22, 2021. We will review the pronouncement in its entirety and will provide more specific details on the Fair in the coming days," the fair's website said.

Anyone who has ever attended the fair knows how tight and sweaty the crowds can be, as people look for the Strates Show rides and all of that amazing food.

Credit Erie County Fair

When the governor late last month allowed the State Fair to open, local county fairs expected they also would be allowed to open eventually. However, the Chautauqua County Fair decided it just couldn't wait and canceled its show for this year.

The Genesee County Fair will run July 24-31, but also has decisions to make:

"At this time, while it is promising that the State Fair will go ahead with planning for the 2021 season, we, the County Fairs, have not been given any guidance as to what or how we should be planning for Fair Season," said fair officials on their website. "The Genesee County Ag Society volunteers have been moving ahead with plans for the Genesee County Fair, to be held July 24-31....We are hoping that, in the near future, the Governor and his office will be addressing how the County Fairs should proceed, so that we can move forward with some great entertainment and Livestock shows for our community."

The Cattaraugus County Fair is scheduled for Aug. 1-8. The Niagara County Fair will run Aug. 4-8.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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