LANCASTER – The 2021 Antelope Valley Fair & Alfalfa Festival, which was scheduled to begin on Oct. 1, was cancelled, organizers announced Friday, saying that new mandates from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health caused too many logistical problems.
The Los Angeles Department of Public Health announced this week that effective Oct. 7, outdoor events with more than 10,000 people must require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours.
The fair typically takes place over 10 days in August but was moved to eight days in October to accommodate COVID-19 health and safety protocols and mandates. The event also was also scaled back to have a reduced number of vendors, exhibitors and concessionaires, and the arena concert series was already cancelled.
“While our staff and volunteers have made countless changes and efforts to hold this event safely, the continued obstacles Los Angeles County Health Department imposes on safe, outdoor events like ours forces us to make this very difficult decision,” said Antelope Valley Fair & Event Board President Drew Mercy.
“Despite our community’s incredible efforts in coming together on every front, with support of this year’s AV Fair and the numerous changes made, doing their part to keep infection rates down in the Antelope Valley, and working together to safely gather at events — this is today’s outcome. These new mandates prohibit us from providing our fair attendees the experiences they have come to expect, enjoy and deserve. We’re working closely with our vendors, concessionaires and others to help minimize the impact this decision has to their business,” Mercy said.
People who have already purchased tickets will receive automatic refunds.
“The health and well-being of our community has and always will be our top priority. We’ve been carefully preparing this year’s event with stringent safety protocols at the forefront of all of our planning. However, these recent Los Angeles County mandates are the tipping point in terms of resources, forecasting reduced attendance and other burdens that impact our ability to move forward,” said Antelope Valley Fair & Event Center CEO Dan Jacobs.
“Saying we’re disappointed is an understatement. We sincerely appreciate how our fair fans, sponsors, concessionaires, vendors, exhibitors and volunteers have supported us through these last two very tumultuous years,” Jacobs added.