Governor Cuomo announced Monday the New York State Fair will take place this summer with restrictions like admission being limited to 50% capacity and attendees having to mask up — but local county fair officials are still waiting for guidance from the state.
The state is giving the green light for the NYS Fair to take place in Syracuse from August 20 to September 6.
"The state fair is special, it's special to all New Yorkers, it's a great institution," the governor said Monday during a press conference after he made the announcement about the fair's return.
The decision to go ahead with the state fair has county fair officials in Western New York wondering what this means for them.
"At this point, I really don't know if the guidelines will be lifted in time for them to actually have the fair here in Chautauqua County,” Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas said.
Mayor Rosas added that there is a lot of planning involved for the Chautauqua County Fair held in the city. He believes fair organizers need time to finalize what it would look like this year. The fair board is expected to have a meeting next week.
"We want to have a fair and it is in our plan to have a fair," said Jessica Underberg, the manager and CEO of the Erie County Fair.
"As for the Erie County Fair, we have been and continue to plan for August 11 through 22 depending on the guidance issued. Our staff and board have walked through many different scenarios, looked at every piece of what we do and continue to be hopeful to safely run the best 12 days of summer."
If the 181st Erie County Fair takes place in August, it will of course look different.
"Some of the biggest hurdles that I've seen just in this last little bit, staffing, getting people who are willing to come back off unemployment to come back and work for 12 days,” Underberg said. “You may have to purchase your ticket in advance, much like every other event that's happening this summer. Layouts I think are going to be a challenge for us as we start to think about moving people around the property, making sure people have ample space.”
Underberg says Monday's news is encouraging, but she's hoping for guidance from the state by the end of the week.