The Greene County Youth Fair, a summer staple in the area for more than 60 years, is among the latest events canceled due to coronavirus fears.
Food Festival Hudson, an event for food trucks and other vendors at Henry Hudson Riverfront Park, has been canceled.
The Youth Fair was scheduled to take place July 23-26 at Angelo Canna Town Park in Cairo. Now in its 66th year, the fair gives Greene County young people ages 5 to 21 an opportunity to show off their skills in livestock handling, arts and crafts, baking and more.
“The Greene County Agricultural Society regrets that we will be canceling the 2020 Greene County Youth Fair,” Greene County Agricultural Society President Alex Johnk said Thursday. “Our team of volunteers decided the safety of exhibitors, vendors, volunteers, families and guests is too important. This was not an easy decision, and we would like to thank everyone who has supported the fair. We are already making plans for 2021 and will strive to make this a wonderful event next year.”
Athens Performing Arts Corp., which holds a summer concert series each year at Athens Riverfront Park, announced Friday that the 2020 season will be canceled.
“It is with huge disappointment and deep regret that the members of the board of directors of APAC find themselves in a position where they must officially cancel the 2020 summer concert series that is held annually at the Athens Riverfront Park,” according to the organization.
The 2020 concert series was to be held on Fridays from July through Sept. 4. This is the first time in the series’ 17-year history that the event has had to be canceled.
“The APAC board is aware of the impact of this decision, and how it will affect our live music fans and the touring musicians, but also the impact that this decision will have on our local businesses,” APAC said. “However, for the safety of our communities, first responders, staff and the bands we made the decision to cancel.”
Catskill’s Music in the Park series hosted by the Heart of Catskill Association at Dutchman’s Landing does not appear to be in the cards for this summer, Village President Vincent Seeley said.
The Music in the Park program runs for 11 weeks each summer and is in its 22nd year.
Other summer music events already canceled include the East Durham Irish Festival, TrailBlazer Music Festival and Grey Fox Bluegrass Music Festival. A virtual event called the Spirit of Grey Fox 2020 is planned in place of the event.
The Coxsackie Farmers Market received approval from the Coxsackie Village Board to open for the season June 3.
The weekly market will be open from 4-7 p.m., with 4-4:30 p.m. reserved for elderly and special-needs shoppers.
“The market board has been working hard to make sure we have a safe market planned for our community in the midst of this pandemic,” according to an announcement Thursday. “Although we love spending time with everyone in the park, we are asking that this year you make your trip to the market more about shopping than socializing. There will be no sit-down food, only to-go options, as well as no music, nonprofit booths or educational events. While we will miss these features right now, we want to be as safe as possible. Masks are required to enter the shopping space and we ask, if possible, please only send one person per household.”
Options will also be available to pre-order items.
Catskill’s farmers market will likely make a comeback, Seeley said, and may be incorporated into a proposal to close Main Street.
The Hudson Farmers Market is open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at two locations: the city parking lot between Fifth and Sixth Streets on Columbia, and the parking lot at Sixth Street and Columbia.
The Athens Street Festival, scheduled for July 11, was canceled earlier this month.
No decision has been made on the Catskill Food Festival.
Renting fairground facilities for the Columbia County Fair is on hold until further direction is provided by the state, including crowd size and other restrictions. This applies to weddings, meetings, private parties and events other than the annual fair.
The Columbia County Fair has not been canceled at this time.
“We need to know prior to July 1 to give us ample time to prepare for the annual fair that is scheduled for Sept. 2-7, 2020,” according to an announcement on the fair’s website. “If we cannot open the grounds as normal, the annual fair will not be presented and all contracts received for the 2020 year will be placed on hold.”
Columbia County 4-H members, who participate in the Columbia County Fair to showcase their work, will have a decision by July 1 on the status of the fair.
“If a fair is canceled, we will continue to be creative and investigate the ways we can still showcase all of the hard work and growth of every 4-H member,” according to Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties.
Participants are encouraged to register if the fair happens as planned.
Summer youth programs are canceled at parks throughout Columbia County.
Austerlitz, Chatham’s Crellin Park, Copake, Ghent, Greenport, the Village of Kinderhook’s Rothermel Park and Livingston have all announced canceled or modified programs.
“Many of the programs are trying to figure out ways that they can do something for the youth this summer, which I think is pretty amazing,” Columbia County Director of Youth Jessica Nabozny said. “They’re trying to figure out how they can do virtual programming or they’re trying to do something with small groups during different times of the day and different days of the week.”
Program directors are concerned about a COVID-19-linked illness affecting children, Nabozny said.
The Columbia County Health Department is concerned with sanitizing playground equipment and enforcing mask wearing and social distancing among the children.
Nabozny said Greenport Town Supervisor Kathleen Eldridge made the decision to keep the park closed through the summer early enough to allow youth who are usually employed there time to find another summer job.
“A lot of them can’t afford the staffing now anyway,” Nabozny said. “The Youth Bureau actually has no funding for any of these programs, even the agencies, as of now from the state Office of Children and Family Services. We have zero funding for 2020 fiscal year to allocate to these programs.”
Hudson’s Youth Department-run summer program at Oakdale Lake has not been canceled and Director Nick Zachos is working to make limited programming available for the city’s 600 youth.