Fair vendors discuss struggles facing canceled summer fairs and events

Local News

For most vendors, the summer months are their busiest season

CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – With many fairs across the state canceling due to COVID-19 concerns, many businesses are left wondering what they should do to stay afloat.

On the last day of the Food Fair Extravaganza hosted by the Canfield Fair, there were many smiles and thank yous.

“This is the first time a lot of them have been able to even get out of the house to do their own business,” said George Roman of the Canfield Fair.

They all knew that an uncertain future lies ahead.

“Bills don’t stop coming, so you gotta try to pay the bills any way you can,” said Jack Richardson, owner of Richardson’s French Fries.

For most vendors, the summer months are their busiest season, but many of their previously scheduled fairs and events have canceled as far out as August due to COVID-19.

Some vendors have set up stands on the side of roads throughout the Valley, but for others, no events in the books means no income.

“They opened up the unemployment to a lot of our vendors and the sole proprietors, which helped out quite a bit. I went the other way. I went with the disaster loan. I’m still waiting on hearing on that. Other than that, we’re just muddling through,” said Richardson.

The Canfield Fair believes that if the fair can continue as planned, they expect to welcome back all of their vendors while still complying with social distancing.

“It should be possible. We’ve had very few call and say, hey, we’re not coming out because of the situation we’re in. In fact, I think it’s only been two that said they can’t make it,” said Roman.

Richardson’s French Fries is hoping that the Canfield Fair can continue and that other fairs later on in the summer reconsider their decisions to cancel.

But for now, Richardson is embracing the opportunity to get back to business in any way that he can.

“The outpouring was really something special to me, to hear that everybody wants us to be out at the fairs and thanks us for having this,” Richardson said.

The Canfield Fair has not made a decision on whether or not they will cancel the fair.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending on WKBN.com