A nearly 150-year-old Centre County summer tradition will not happen in 2020.
The Centre County Grange Encampment and Fair has been canceled for this year because of COVID-19 concerns, the fair committee announced "with great sadness" Wednesday night on Facebook.
"The health and safety of our tenting and RV families, fairgoers, staff, concessionaires, sponsors, entertainers and others is of utmost importance," Ben Haagen, Grange Fair Committee president, wrote in the message. "It is clear to us, the Grange Fair Committee, that we would be unable to adhere to the CDC mandates of social distancing protocols at this time. Thank you for your understanding and patience during these unprecedented times. We look forward to seeing everyone at the 2021 Grange Fair!"
Originally scheduled for Aug. 21-29 in Centre Hall, this would have been the 146th edition of the Grange Fair.
It joins every other major summer event in the region in canceling for 2020. The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, Central PA 4th Fest, People's Choice Festival and Philipsburg Heritage Days jointly announced in April that they would not go on this year for the first time in their respective histories. Each of those is planning virtual events.
Most other festivals, carnivals and summertime events — including the Boalsburg Memorial Day weekend carnival and Day in Town, which would have taken place this weekend — have also followed suit and nixed plans for this year.
Grange Fair has grown to draw 200,000 visitors each year over the course of nine days. Pennsylvania's largest fair in terms of acreage (264), it also hosts 1,500 RVs and 1,000 tents for the families who stay for the duration in what is often a tradition passed down from generation to generation.