HYDE PARK, NY—With the decision made to allow the New York State Fair to resume this year, Senator Sue Serino today is urging the state to release health and safety guidance to allow local county fairs to safely do the same.

“County fairs, like the famous Dutchess County Fair, play a key role in the fabric of our community,” said Senator Serino. “If it is safe for the NYS Fair to resume, it is safe for these smaller, more localized events to do the same. Every day that passes without the necessary guidance makes it more difficult for them to plan for reopening and the state cannot leave them behind in this process. As we look toward rebuilding our communities and our state, these events, which highlight the very best of our local agriculture and other craft industries, will play a key role in helping to get us back on track. We are urging the state to immediately release the guidance they need to ensure these events go off without a hitch.”

"All of the county fairs in the state are waiting for the same thingguidance," said Andy Imperati, CEO/Fair Manager, Dutchess County Fair. "It’s really hard to efficiently and effectively plan an event as large as a county fair without knowing what the guidelines to operate are. The first county fair in New York will take place in 65 days. That’s not a lot of time to work with, given the scope of what needs to be in place to make it all work."

On April 26, the Governor announced that the NYS Fair would reopen for the eighteen-day celebration this year and tentatively set the capacity level at 50%. The State Fair annually attracts over 1 million visitors.

The 175th Annual Dutchess County Fair is tentatively scheduled to take place this year from August 24th-29th after being canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Dutchess County Fair, famous nationwide for its size and scope, is the second largest county fair in the state and the largest agricultural six-day fair in the state.

“If our county fairs cannot safely resume, it’s our small family farms, local businesses, artisans and craftspeople who get hurt the most,” Senator Serino continued. “With industries across the state on track to reopen safely, there is no reason to delay issuing this key guidance to ensure that those who play a direct role in keeping our communities moving forward have the opportunity to participate in this critically important event.”

In March, Senator Serino wrote to the Governor urging a reopening plan to be established for the state. On May 2nd, Senator Serino wrote again to urge the release of this necessary guidance. A full copy of this letter, can be viewed by clicking here.

Senator Serino is the Ranking Member of the State Senate’s Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation.