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Farm shows may be a no-go

Local organizers making hard choices in wake of COVID-19

As COVID-19 continues to alter summer plans, area farm shows are making decisions about holding events. So far, one has decided to pull the plug, two are making a go of it and one is undecided.

The Sinking Valley and Hollidaysburg farm shows are taking place, while the Williamsburg Farm Show is still in flux. The Claysburg Farm Show has been canceled for this year.

Jessica Kovac, secretary of the Sinking Valley Farm Show, which is held at the spacious Sinking Valley Fair Grounds, said organizers are confident they can comply with social distancing guidelines while still holding the event.

“We are on 42 acres so we can spread out a lot,” she said. ‘We really think we can pull it together and make it work.”

The Sinking Valley Farm Show is in its 89th year, and Kovac, who is the third generation of her family to be involved with it, said the event is a tradition for a lot of families.

“A lot of our fair-goers are families,” she said. “They come and get some food and the kids run around the grounds. It is a tradition for a lot of people.”

Kovac said there will be extra handwashing stations throughout the fairgrounds and seating will be spaced out. To get to the fairgrounds, Kovac said a tractor shuttles people from the parking area and this year, they will limit the number of people who can ride the tractor at the same time.

She said the fair usually attracts about 2,500 visitors throughout the week.

Kovac said the only thing they will scale back this year is the number of animals at the fair. She said they have not had any problems getting food trucks to participate.

“We have had food venders contacting us because most of their events have been canceled,” she said.

Apryl Smith, president of the Hollidaysburg Farm Show, said they still plan to hold the event, but that could change depending on how the pandemic plays out over the summer.

“It was up in the air for a while, but we are proceeding with it,” she said.

The Hollidaysburg Farm Show is held Sept. 21-24 in the baseball building behind the Hollidaysburg Area Senior High School. It is in its 83rd year and features contests in canning, baked goods and vegetable growing. Smith said they are going to do everything they can to hold the event.

“To me, it’s important to have it and continue the tradition,” she said.

Smith said she has received support from volunteers who are willing to work the farm show.

“The ones I have talked to said they will be there,” she said.

The Claysburg Farm Show has been canceled. Event organizers said the they decided to cancel because the social distancing restrictions would make it too difficult. This will be the first time in 90 years the farm show will not be held.

In Williamsburg, Farm Show Secretary Angie Walason said she is not sure if the event will be held or not.

“We haven’t made a decision yet,” she said. “We will make a decision at our next meeting in July.”

The Williamsburg Farm Show features a livestock auction, but if it is held this year, the 4-H kids won’t be participating. The 4-H youth will not to participate in activities this year due to the pandemic.

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