Whiteside County Fair canceled due to pandemic

Cody Cavenaugh of the FMX Freestyle Motorcross stunt team goes high in the air at the 2019 Whiteside County fair. The grandstand was packed watching the riders ramp up their tricks for the crowd. This year's fair has been cancelled due to the pandemic.
Cody Cavenaugh of the FMX Freestyle Motorcross stunt team goes high in the air at the 2019 Whiteside County fair. The grandstand was packed watching the riders ramp up their tricks for the crowd. This year's fair has been cancelled due to the pandemic.

The Whiteside County Fair Board made a difficult decision last week and has canceled the 2020 Whiteside County Fair due to Illinois requirements pertaining to COVID-19.

“Illinois’ Phase 5 Restore Illinois Plan specifically addresses fairs and festivals. In order to be able to have a fair, our region must be in Phase 5; currently we are in Phase 4,” the board’s press release said. “The requirements for entering Phase 5 include ‘a vaccine, effectively and widely available treatment, or the elimination of new cases over a sustained period of time through herd immunity or other factors.’ Unfortunately, Illinois is simply not there yet.”

The press release said board members held out as long as they could before making the decision.

“We had a genuine hopes of an improvement in the situation that would allow us to hold the 2020 fair in August. Simply put, our ability to have the Fair this year is not possible. We exhausted every avenue we could to try to make it happen this year, but the circumstances do not allow for it,” the release said.

“We know many of you will be relieved to hear this, and we know many of you will be upset, and some maybe both. We are very disappointed to have to cancel this year, but the health and safety of the fair goers, exhibitors, vendors, entertainers and volunteers have been our highest priority during this evaluation process.

The 2021 fair is scheduled for Aug. 17-21, 2021.