Coronavirus restrictions are easing up in Pennsylvania, but as businesses reopen with precautions in place, many summer fairs and festivals are off this year.
For some, that means skipping one iteration of an annual event, or postponing it. For East Stroudsburg, that means reworking its 150th anniversary events, to be celebrated next year as "150 +1."
Here’s a look at what else has been canceled in the Poconos, and – though more announcements may be coming – what’s still on the calendar.
The West End Fair in Monroe County and the Carbon and Wayne county fairs, all planned for August, have been canceled.
Organizers of both county fairs noted that typical fair attendance vastly exceeds the 250 person limit imposed in Pennsylvania’s green phase of reopening. (It’s not yet clear what comes after the green phase, or what size gatherings might be allowed by August.)
Fair attendance in Wayne County is above 90,000, and the Carbon County Fair Board pointed out that even individual events exceed 250 people; an Elvis impersonator scheduled for this year has drawn 700 people in the past.
The Wayne County Cooperative Agricultural Society noted in announcing the cancelation that this has happened only twice before: for "financial problems" in 1888 and due to a "devastating flood" in 1942.
"Interestingly our records show that the 1941 fair was held, but no children were allowed because of a Polio outbreak in those pre-vaccine days," the society’s press release added.
The Greene Dreher Sterling Fair, scheduled for Aug. 28 to Sept. 6 in Newfoundland, has also been canceled.
The Milford Music Festival is off, while the Roots & Rhythm Music & Arts Festival in Honesdale is "on hold."
"In light of the fact that many of the festival’s key players and sponsors currently have to place their own health and economic well being first, any decisions made to reschedule in 2020 will be made based on sound public health guidance," Roots & Rhythm posted on Facebook.
Gone is the Great Tastes of Pennsylvania Wine & Food Festival planned for later this month in Lake Harmony, but beer lovers may have better luck at the Beer Fest at Blue Mountain Resort, which is still alive in August on the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau website.
Some events, like Wally Lake Fest at Lake Wallenpaupack in late August, are proceeding in a modified format. "We’re still in the planning process to establish what Wally Lake Fest looks like in the face of this tragic Covid19 crisis, and we’ll have updates soon!" the event’s website says.
For information on more events, see the calendar on the PMVB site: https://www.poconomountains.com/events/.
Independence Day fireworks are on, with modifications, in Honesdale on July 3 and over Lake Wallenpaupack on July 4.
In Honesdale, observers are encouraged to park in the Home Depot, Walmart, and Baer Harley Davidson parking lots, while listening to patriotic music on 95.3 DNH.
At Wallenpaupack Area High School, spectators will get two parking spots – one for their car, and one "to set up for viewing purposes" according to guidance from the Chamber of the Northern Poconos. The bleachers will be closed. Like in Honesdale, music will play on Classic Hits 105.3.
The rain date for both is July 5.
Shawnee Mountain Ski Area canceled its fireworks.