San Diego County Fair weighs reduced options for 2021, eyes 2022 full return

Posted at 12:54 PM, Jan 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-11 20:19:35-05

DEL MAR, Calif. (KGTV) — This year's San Diego County Fair will once again be severely limited amid the coronavirus outbreak, with fairgrounds officials hopeful for a full return in 2022.

A new memo from the fair's chief business services officer says the most likely scenario for this year is to have a drive-in/drive-through style fair from June 11 to July 4.

The drive-in fair would include the Junior Livestock Show and Auction, and other exhibits and entertainment, plus the signature food offerings. However, community events such as beer and wine tasting, fine art, woodworking, and home arts would require in-person attendance, and therefore would be postponed. Those parts of the fair could take place in a special fall festival, assuming coronavirus-related restrictions lighten.

"The goal is to bring a community event to the people of San Diego County while adhering to all state and county public health guidelines," says the memo, from Katie Mueller, the fair's chief business services officer.

At the same time, the fair is still making concurrent plans for a reduced capacity, socially distanced in-person fair this summer. It would include outdoor retail, food and beverage services, plus distanced interactions with fair favorites. That, however, would also involve more hiring, cleaning, and sanitation services.

The memo says this type of fair is unlikely given current coronavirus conditions, but the fairgrounds would not be able to put it together at the last minute.

"As of this report, the second format is not possible, but planning must begin in order to accomplish all that needs to be done by June," Mueller wrote.

The memo says a fall festival will be planned in either case. It says it anticipates a traditional fair returning in 2022.