The Washington County Fair Board cited the health of citizens and rules for future mass gatherings.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Riders on the Freak Out ride at the Washington County Fair last summer.

People will have to wait until next year to attend the Washington County Fair.

In a press release on Thursday, May 7, the Washington County Fair Board announced the cancelation of the fair after "thoughtful consideration and study."

"This decision has been a tough one for us," said Washington County Fair Board President Gary Seidel in a statement. "We had sincerely hoped we could move forward with the 2020 edition of our fair. This was to have been the debut of expanding the fair to 10 days and incorporating the new Wingspan Event & Conference Center into the fair, which is why this is extra painful for us and the staff to have to cancel this year after so much planning and anticipation, but our fair dates are early in relation to how soon we all might be able to get out into the community after sheltering in place due to the (coronavirus)."

Seidel added that there are too many unknowns related to keeping the community safe right now and what be allowed in relation to mass gatherings. For the protection and well-being of the community, he said, the board then concluded it would not be responsible to move forward with the fair this year.

PMG FILE PHOTO - The carnival section at the Washington County Fair Complex in Hillsboro.

"We are now upon the time in our planning of the fair where we have to start making commitments with suppliers, contractors, concert acts, the list goes on and on," said fair manager Leah Perkins-Hagele. "Yet, we truly do not know, at this point, if the fair could realistically be held since we are a large mass gathering and we always have to keep the safety and health of our community, staff and exhibitors as our first priority."

Perkins-Hagele said she hopes the community can celebrate the fair next year once it is safe to do so.

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