A view of the midway of the 2019 Upper Missouri Valley Fair. The 2020 fair has been canceled.

The 2020 Upper Missouri Valley Fair has been canceled, the fair board announced Monday, May 18.

The announcement cites newly announced guidelines for large gatherings as the major hurdle.

“After careful review of Governor Burgum’s ND Smart Restart Program, the Upper Missouri Valley Fair Board has made the decision to cancel the 2020 Upper Missouri Valley Fair,” a statement from the fair board reads. “This decision was heart wrenching for all, but as a board, we cannot in good conscience go forth with this year’s fair and be able to adhere to all the guidelines and requirements set forth by the State of North Dakota . Our number one priority is as always 10 keep our community, fair goers, volunteers and board members safe. The UMVF board would like 10 express our heartfelt regret to our community, fair goers, and volunteers at this time. Like all of you, we look forward to this event every year. The UMVF board will take this opportunity to continue to make improvements to the fairgrounds throughout the year, so that next year’s fair will be the best ever. We hope to see all your smiling faces at the 2021 Upper Missouri Valley Fair.”

The North Dakota State Fair announced earlier this month that it would be canceling its 2020 event as well.

Burgum announced the guidelines on Friday. They include:

Allow for proper spacing between groups by keeping at least two empty seats or 6 feet between parties in any area, in seating areas.

Alternate rows of chairs/bleachers between customers by marking every other row ‘closed’.

All booths, activities, entertainment, tables etc., must be placed with 10 feet between each in all directions to allow for physical distancing and attendee flow.

Tables should seat no more than 10.

Lines and waiting areas must be marked so physical distancing standards are met.

Post signs directing one-way movement of ingress and egress for participants when possible.

All attendees should be encouraged to wear cloth masks where social distancing cannot be easily maintained.

Encourage use of mobile apps and contactless purchasing and payment. If not available, a barrier should be provided between staff and customers or use of cloth face masks is strongly encouraged for both staff and customers in areas where social distancing is not possible.

If cash is accepted, cash is to be put on the counter and not direct into hand and the counter must be disinfected after each cash transaction.

Participants should enter and exit from different areas.

Standing in the entry area should be minimized by encouraging attendees to quickly access their seats or viewing area.

Concession and bar lines must be managed to ensure proper 6 feet physical distancing. Use floor markings when possible.

All food concession stands, vendors, caterers and food providers must follow protocols for restaurants and bars.

Carnival rides, games or shared sports equipment must be disinfected between each user.

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