Hawai´i County Fair Scrapped Due to COVID
The 71st Hawai´i County Fair, which was scheduled in Hilo from Sept. 16-19, 2021, has been canceled due to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The state’s vaccination percentage as of (May 26) is 48%, which is nowhere near the percentage needed to have a large event in the state of Hawai´i under current proclamation guidelines,” a statement from the Hawai´i County Fair Foundation said. “Our commitment to the public’s health and to adhere to the State of Hawai´i, according to the tier level guidelines, has sealed our decision to cancel another year of our traditional event in Hilo.”
The foundation added that it has reviewed several different protocols regarding social distancing, increased sanitation, logistics, safety of all attendees, volunteers, vendors, carnival workers, additional medical staffing and entertainers. But, without an exact date set for when the state will reopen to full capacity, and with a vaccination percentage still below herd immunity, the foundation made a “heavy and difficult decision” to scrap the event.
“If our economy wishes to continue its rebound from COVID-19 lockdown, we need to support events like this throughout our state. These events will showcase new businesses, increase purchasing of products from local businesses, help fundraising for local organizations, and engage our communities to see the positive growth in a time of uncertainty,” said Kelton Chang, President of the Hawai´i County Fair Foundation. “With all our protocol concerns, it’s our kuleana to safely open events that will not add additional clusters or create a backwards tier level effects on our economy. Our local residents and businesses have already sacrificed enough.”