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California

Ventura County Fair becomes the latest summer event canceled due to coronavirus

There will be no racing pigs this year at the Ventura County Fair, which officials canceled May 5.
(Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

The coronavirus outbreak has scrapped another California summertime staple, as officials decided Monday to cancel the Ventura County Fair.

The event — which was to run from Aug. 5 to 16 — dates back to 1875 and has been an annual fixture in the county, save for when the U.S. military commandeered the fairgrounds during World War II, officials said.

“We are already looking forward to welcoming everybody back in 2021 when we will resume the 145th Ventura County Fair,” Chief Executive Barbara Quaid said in a statement Monday. “We encourage our Ventura County neighbors and friends to continue adhering to all public health guidelines so that we can all come together again in 2021.”

County Fairs from San Diego to the San Francisco Bay area have been canceled, and large music festivals have been postponed over the coronavirus.
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Quaid called the fair, which attracts nearly 300,000 attendees in a typical year, “the county’s most timeless tradition” and said it’s “because of those smiling faces that we are completely comfortable with this decision.”

The coronavirus outbreak — which has infected more than 56,000 Californians and been blamed for almost 2,300 deaths — has forced officials throughout the state to ax large-scale events, including summertime fairs.

Already, officials have put the kibosh on the San Diego County Fair, the Orange County Fair and the California State Fair, among others, in a bid to stem the spread of COVID-19.

Ventura County, however, hasn’t seen the same level of coronavirus activity that some of its Southern California neighbors have.

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As of Tuesday morning, the county had 577 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 19 coronavirus-linked deaths. By comparison, those numbers were 4,020 and 144 in San Diego County, and 2,819 and 57 in Orange County, respectively.

In Los Angeles County — which accounts for nearly half of all the coronavirus infections that have been confirmed statewide, as well as a majority of the documented deaths — a fair still remains on the books, however.

“It is our expectation that the 2020 LA County Fair, still more than four months away, will go forward as scheduled,” states a message on the event’s website.

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The L.A. County Fair is scheduled from Sept. 4 to 27.

While carnival attractions, fried food and live entertainment are no longer on the menu in Ventura County, Quaid said the fairgrounds stands ready to assist in the county’s coronavirus response, has partnered “to serve as a food distribution site and will continue looking for ways that we may serve the community.”

“We are thankful to the healthcare workers and those who are on the front lines making extraordinary efforts to help others during this great time of need,” she said.


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