San Juan County Fair Board announces cancellation of annual event due to coronavirus

Event will not be held for first time since its inception in 1884

Mike Easterling
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Members of the San Juan County Fair Board announced July 9 that the annual summertime event, held every year since 1884, will not take place this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The cancellation was announced in a press release. Board members said the decision was necessary because of guidelines set in Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's public health orders and the uncertainty of the situation.

Crowd members watch the San Juan County Fair Parade on Aug. 9, 2019. The fair will not be held this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

They also said this will mark the first cancellation in the history of the event.

"It has become clear that there is no way to continue to plan for an event which draws crowds numbering in the tens of thousands," Kim Martinez, the board president, stated in the press release. "It is in the best interest of the health and welfare of our vendors, fair-goers and the community at large to cancel the event.

Planning for the event, which was scheduled to take place Aug. 12-17, was well underway, but the focus of the board now shifts to planning for the 2021 event.

"We appreciate the understanding of the community and are so excited to welcome fair-goers back to see their favorite event in 2021," Martinez said in the statement.

Charliann Nunn exits the arena with her steer Snickerdoodle after the conclusion of the market steer class 1 category judging Aug. 16, 2018, during the annual beef show at the San Juan County Fair at McGee Park. This year's fair has been cancelled, but 4-H will present a youth livestock show Aug. 14-16.

The fair traditionally includes concerts, a carnival, livestock shows, exhibitions and vendors. That includes a large number of activities presented by the San Juan County 4-H program, which operates through the cooperative extension service at New Mexico State University. After the fair board announced the cancellation of this year's fair, 4-H officials announced via social media they would present the San Juan County Youth Livestock Show Aug. 14-16.

Puoa, a spotted pig, is bathed during the 2018 San Juan County Fair at McGee Park in Farmington.

The event is described as a market show only for beef, swine, lamb, goal, turkey and poultry. A virtual livestock sale also will be held. The deadline for entries is July 31.

Officials said they soon will release details regarding the location, schedule, entries and rules for the event.

Other prominent local events that have been cancelled this year because of the pandemic include Riverfest, the Totah Festival & Indian Market and the Connie Mack World Series.

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