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COUNTY FAIR: Time a factor in cancellation

There has been some harsh criticism in recent days regarding a decision by the Chautauqua County Fair board of directors for deciding to cancel this year’s edition. Unsurprisingly, most of that discussion is on social media.

We understand the disappointment, but does anyone truly believe the fair board wanted to take this action for the second summer in a row? Fair board President David Wilson said recently he thought there was no option.

“We were going to cancel it in April, but we heard there might be an announcement the first of May so we waited,” he said. “The fair board can’t just snap their fingers and make the fair come together.”

He’s absolutely right.

For those who attend, we marvel at the local exhibits and work done by Chautauqua County 4-H. But there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes in lining up entertainment and planning for demolition derbies.

After the fair board’s announcement, state Sen. George Borrello sought guidance from the state Health Department to help other counties make a decision on how to move forward. At this point, that may be too little, too late.

Planning relies on some certainty. We may be getting closer, but we’re not there yet.

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