July 12, 2020
AliExpress WW
At least 25 state fairs, which are the driving force behind the local economy, have been canceled or postponed due to COVID-19

At least 25 state fairs, which are the driving force behind the local economy, have been canceled or postponed due to COVID-19

AliExpress WW

Usually at this time of year Stacy Pittroff-Baron would be in the middle of the fair season. Her father will return from Australia after a carnival walk, a giant slide and a food stand “Cheese on a stick and fresh lemonade” at the Sydney Royal Easter Exhibition. August will see 11 days of the Wisconsin State Fair, and then another 12 days at the fair in her home state of minnesota,

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“I grew up in honest business all my life,” said Pittroff-Barona. “That was almost all we did, it was an honest business.”

The giant slide celebrated 50 years at the Minnesota Fair last year. The food rack has been a staple product for 40 years.

This year all three Fairs have been canceled due to coronavirus pandemic.

PHOTO: A group of women ride a giant slide together on the first day of the Minnesota Fair in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, on August 22, 2019. (Star Tribune via Getty Images, FILE)
PHOTO: A group of women ride a giant slide together on the first day of the Minnesota Fair in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, on August 22, 2019. (Star Tribune via Getty Images, FILE)

“Financially, it was devastating,” said Pittroff-Barona. She said that as a seasonal employer, she was unable to apply for a loan under the Wage Protection Program, and it is difficult to get grants because the business travels. “You fall into that hole where you cannot really relate to anything,” she said.

So far this year, at least 25 state fairs have been canceled or postponed indefinitely throughout the country, as officials either found it too risky to conduct mass fairs effectively or are unable to do so due to government restrictions on mass gatherings. This does not apply to hundreds of county fairs – some of which, like in Erie, attract more people than some state fairs – which have also been canceled. Among the more than two dozen state fairs that have not been canceled, several, including New York, Texas and Utah, are tentatively still working.

MORE: New York, NJ, Connecticut quarantines travelers from areas of high risk for coronavirus

In addition to its cultural and social significance, the state fair – a celebration of the region’s agricultural heritage – is the driving force behind economic activity. The Indiana State Fair, which was canceled this year, typically employs more than 1,000 seasonal workers.

State fairs canceled or postponed so far in the USA (ABC News Photo Illustration)
State fairs canceled or postponed so far in the USA (ABC News Photo Illustration)

The economic impact of canceling Illinois’ state fairs in Springfield and Du Quoin is expected to be at least $ 80 million, ABC News Illinois affiliate WICS reports. reported, Des Moines Travel Industry Damages Canceled by Iowa State Fair Valued at $ 110 Million, According Des Moines RegisterThe Wisconsin State Fair is the largest event in the state that attracts over 1 million visitors. The economic success of canceling this fair is estimated at more than $ 200 million, said VISIT President and CEO Milwaukee Peggy Williams-Smith. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,

Market Kaliko, president and CEO of the International Association of Fairs and Exhibitions, told ABC News that the industry fair stopped in March. Since then, the biggest event that nearly 1,100 members of the organization hold in books has been the Delaware State Fair, which kicks off July 23rd.

MORE: Exhibition Blues: exhibitions become virtual as the virus spreads

Kaliko said the local economy has a “ripple effect” of fairs. One ripple comes from carnival operators and food stalls, who often travel from festival to festival.

“They buy services in the community, they replenish stocks, they get maintenance of their vehicles – the ripple effect of this is huge,” Kaliko said.

There are also tourists who fill hotels – last year the Ohio State Fair gathered about 1 million visitors over 12 days from each county in Ohio, as well as from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Canada and Mexico, according to data. to the Ohio Exhibitions Commission.

Then there are community organizations — your lion clubs and kivanis clubs — that often receive donations from fair proceeds, Kaliko said.

PHOTO: A booth selling Minnesota's main products, such as stick cheese and corn dogs, temporarily opened a store at VFW's parking lot in Rosville, Minnesota (stick cheese and fresh lemonade)
PHOTO: A booth selling Minnesota’s main products, such as stick cheese and corn dogs, temporarily opened a store at VFW’s parking lot in Rosville, Minnesota (stick cheese and fresh lemonade)

At the moment, Pittroff-Barona has found a way to launch her food store and give it back. From June 1, she removes corn dogs from the parking lot of her local VFW and donates part of the organization’s revenue.

The stand will be held there daily until July 25, and almost half of its full-time employees will be on board.

“They are very grateful that they have a summer job with everything that happens,” said Pittroff-Barona. “In fact, we are not showing honest numbers, but we are very stable.”

MORE: This couple plays free porch concerts for their neighbors every weekend.

Other sellers in the state of Minnesota popped up on parking lots and on roadsides during the summer, and government fairs steadily created “search for fair food“.

Wisconsin State Park officials in Wisconsin also came up with a way for potential visitors to get a fair correction by using cream pop-up messages throughout the state during the fair’s initial dates, August 6-16. More holidays associated with the fair are at work, a spokeswoman for ABC News said.

PHOTO: Jahtaya Woolley, a member of the puff cream team, proudly holds a tray of fresh cream with his puff cream teammates at the State Fair Park in West Allis, Wisconsin, July 31, 2019, before the Wisconsin State Fair. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA Today, FILE)
PHOTO: Jahtaya Woolley, a member of the puff cream team, proudly holds a tray of fresh cream with his puff cream teammates at the State Fair Park in West Allis, Wisconsin, July 31, 2019, before the Wisconsin State Fair. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA Today, FILE)

The fairgrounds, which were forced to cancel other events due to orders for social distance, also began to focus on driving films and concerts, such as in New York and Washington.

Pittroff-Barona hopes that by the next season next year, she will be able to return to the “usual business.” She is currently watching what is happening with the Washington State Fair, scheduled for Labor Day weekend. This is usually their next stop after the Giant Mountains Fair in Minnesota, which typically employs more than 100 people.

“They didn’t call it,” said Pittroff-Baron. “I have little hope that this fair will actually be.”

At least 25 state fairs, which are the driving force behind the local economy, have been canceled or postponed due to COVID-19 originally appeared on abcnews.go.com

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