MERCER COUNTY, Pa. (KDKA) — The 2020 Mercer County Grange Fair has been canceled amid the Coronavirus outbreak.

The Mercer County Grange Fair Board voted unanimously to cancel the fair via a telephone meeting on April 14th.

“With 1.6 Million Pennsylvanians collecting unemployment and with so many in Mercer County out of work at this time who are trying to put food on their tables, we cannot ask them to support the Mercer County Grange Fair. Social distancing is virtually impossible in the grandstands when the goal is to fill them,” said board member Jim Richardson in a press release.

The fair take place annually at the fairgrounds on state Route 58 in Findley Township, just outside of Mercer.

The lineup of events generally includes contests, games, rides for kids, demolition derby, pet parade, animals, exhibits, fireworks, and mor

“To keep the spread of Covid-19 to a minimum, we felt that the best option was to cancel. I participated in many telephone calls seeking direction from not only the Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding but also from our local political officials. Failure to receive any response, we took the lead and cancelled. Time after time, I was told that the decision would be made after May 1. The quarantine timeline keeps getting pushed back and before too long, it will be too late to cancel. If we were to put out money for necessities like fair books, Restaurant license, rent portable toilets, and dumpster and then cancel, we would not be able to recover that money,” said Richardson.

Mr. Richardson also sent a letter to Secretary Reading urging the cancelation of the 2020 fair season, citing that it will help fairs save from spending unnecessarily.

Richardson’s letter mentioned that if a fair spends money and then cancels, they are unable to get that money back.