No plans to cancel Spokane County Interstate Fair despite record-high COVID-19 hospitalizations

<p><p>The Spokane County Interstate Fair is still scheduled for Sept. 10-19, even as record-high COVID-19 hospitalization numbers have prompted the cancellation of several major area events. </p></p><p><p>Organizers canceled Pig Out in the Park, Spokane’s six-day food and music festival, in early August. Hoopfest, the world-famous 3-on-3 basketball tournament that hosts thousands of teams, was canceled last week.</p></p><p><p>According to a Wednesday news release, the fair has been communicating with the Washington State Department of Health and the Spokane Regional Health District, and the 10-day event is still expected to happen.</p></p><p><p>Visitors will have to comply with Gov. Jay Inslee’s mandate, which requires individuals to wear masks indoors, but masks will only be encouraged, not required, outside.</p></p><p><p>The fair is also asking visitors to stay home if they feel sick and consider attending on weekdays, when crowds are smaller, as opposed to weekends.</p></p><p><p>The news release states that the fair has set up additional seating areas and has modified vendor and exhibit layouts to improve social distancing.</p></p><p><p>The similarly named Southeast Spokane County fair was called off last week, after organizers cited safety concerns and fewer volunteers.</p></p><p><p>Late Wednesday, the Valleyfest’s executive board followed suit to announce the cancellation of Valleyfest 2021, originally scheduled for Sept. 24-26, after consulting the Spokane Regional Health District.</p></p><p><p>Spokane County Interstate Fair and Expo Director Erin Gurtel could not immediately be reached for comment.</p></p>