BROOKLYN, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut towns have canceled their fairs, festivals, and parades set for the Spring and Summer this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
May 25, Milford Rotary announced their 44th Annual Lobster Bake is canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“This huge event has taken place the last Saturday of July for the last 43 years and has raised over $1 million,” the rotary said. “Milford Rotary uses the bulk of that money every year towards scholarships for our local students.”
May 21, it was announced that the Haddam Neck Fair will not be held this year. All events scheduled for the fairgrounds are canceled, too.
On May 20, the Girl Scouts of Connecticut announced its Camp Laurel Resident Camp would not be open this summer.
On May 20, Mayor Justin Elicker announced New Haven’s Fourth of July fireworks will be canceled due to coronavirus concerns. He says the city is exploring other ways to commemorate the holiday.
On May 20, The Norwalk Seaport Association has announced its decision to cancel the annual Norwalk Oyster Festival.
“We thank everyone for standing with us in making this difficult call,” said NSA President Mike Reilly. “We are counting the days to re-staging the festival and celebrating our maritime heritage together again in 2021.”
On May 20, the Middletown officials announced that Middletown Pride 2020 will be canceled as a result of the pandemic. Their next scheduled event is set for June 19, 2021.
On May 20, The Board of Directors of the Milford Oyster Festival has voted to cancel the annual Oyster Festival scheduled for August 15. Oyster Festival President Jay Pinto said it was a difficult decision, but the board knows this is the right decision as everyone does their part to stop the spread of coronavirus.
“We know this Festival is a special tradition for so many and we look forward to seeing you all again on August 21, 2021,” Pinto said.
Also, on May 18, the Town of Milford announced they are canceling their Memorial Day Parade and Wreath Laying Ceremony. They were both scheduled for Sunday, May 24. Volunteers will still place flags at the graves of veterans.
On May 18, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra has canceled the 2020 Talcott Mountain Music Festival in response to the impact of COVID-19. This year was the festival’s 25th anniversary.
“While this loss stings, rest assured we will reschedule the 25th celebration season in summer 2021, regulations permitting, and in grand style,” said Steve Collins, Hartford Symphony Orchestra Executive Director. “Looking forward, our hope is that we are able to provide outdoor community concerts featuring HSO chamber ensembles later this summer.”
On Thursday, May 14, officials announced the Durham Fair has been canceled and it plans to return in 2021.
Organizers say it was a very difficult decision to make.
“Knowing that we are the largest country fair in the State of Connecticut as well as one of the state’s largest mass gathering events, has played a critical role in this decision,” Durham Agricultural Fair Association President Daniel Miramant said in the announcement. “We regard the health and safety of our volunteers, our exhibitors, our fairgoers and surrounding community as being the utmost importance in any decisions regarding our Fair.”
The Durham Fair has only been canceled four other times in its history; three times during World War II from 1942 to 1944, and once for the hurricane of 1938.
The Berlin Fair Board of Directors has voted to cancel the 2020 Berlin Fair that was to be held September 18, 19, and 20.
This action was taken with consideration of the health and safety of the Lions members, nonprofit church booths, vendors, performers, and all our dedicated Fair patrons,” the board said in a statement. “We take great pride in the fact that this is the Premier Event for the town of Berlin and surrounding areas for 71 years. It has been and will continue to be a big part of the lives of members, vendors, and fair patrons in the years to come.
On Friday the town of Lyme announced that the Hamburg Fair has been canceled. 2020 would have marked the fair’s 119th year for the fair, hosted by the Lyme Grange.
“The Hamburg Fair Association has been following guidance from public health officials and has determined that it is just not possible to host the fair this year,” says Skip Beebe, Hamburg Fair Association President. “The health and safety of our community, guests, staff, and volunteers remains our top priority. We look forward to welcoming guests to our annual fair tradition in 2021 and welcome new volunteers to help make it a banner year.”
The 2021 Hamburg Fair will take place August 20 – August 22.
On Monday evening, the Town of Branford made the difficult decision to cancel their Annual Branford Town Festival this year.
The three-day event happens Father’s Day weekend and draws thousands of people. A road race marks the end of the event of Father’s Day, itself.
The town says it’s not taking any chances with the COVID-19 situation.
Also canceled, the 2020 ShopRite Nutmeg Games and the Derby/Shelton Memorial Day Parade which was scheduled for later in May.
On Monday, it was announced that the Windham County Agricultural Society will not present the Brooklyn Fair, which was scheduled to be held August 27 through August 30.
All other events at the fairground through August 31 are also postponed or canceled. No decision has been made yet on events beginning in September.
The fair has been offering fun for the whole family with livestock, fruit and vegetables, home goods, entertainment and vendors for more than 200 years.
Officials say that keeping their 50,000 plus yearly guests, staff, volunteers and community safe from the coronavirus is now their top priority.
The Brooklyn Fair will be held again on August 26-29, 2021.
Additionally, the 2020 Bridgewater Fair and Raffle has also been canceled. It was scheduled to be held August 21-23.
Fair officials said it was the only responsible option given the safety of the general public, residents, fair workers, and Fire Department personnel.
The Bridgewater Fair will also be held again in 2021.
Mohegan Sun, also, has canceled one of their biggest annual events, the Barrett Jackson Northeast Auto Auction. It was set for June 24-27, 2020.
The show attracts nearly 75,000 people each year. Barrett Jackson says details about refunds will be provided directly to ticket holders.