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South Country Fair postponed until 2021

Ryland Moranz and Leeroy Stagger performing at the 2019 South Country Fair.

The global COVID-19 pandemic forced South Country Fair organizers to put the event on hold.

South Country Fair announced the event scheduled for July has been postponed to 2021.

“We’ve been watching the spread of COVID-19 and the mayhem it has left in its wake, and we cannot in good conscience risk being a vector for this kind of upheaval in the community,” organizers said in a news release.

“One infected person arriving for a single evening could spark huge, far-reaching consequences. We cannot justify putting our performers, volunteers, crafters and food vendors, their families or our audience and their families in harm’s way.”

More than 1.1-million people world-wide are infected with COVID-19 and 58,000 have died.

In Alberta, there are more than 1,250 cases with 23 deaths.

The provincial government has restricted gatherings to 15 people or less, and is urging people to keep at least two metres between themselves and others when out in public.

The 34th annual South Country Fair was set for July 17-19 at Fort Macleod Fish and Game Park.

Organizers warned fans March 8 that while planning was proceeding, consultations were under way with other festivals regarding the pandemic.

The first priority, that bulletin said, was the health and safety of volunteers, musicians and fans.

“We feel it is necessary to be responsible given the circumstances, but in truth we have little choice — the Alberta provincial government has just set a new limit of 15 persons on public gatherings that will continue for many weeks.”

“Even if the cap were to be lifted we cannot in good faith take a chance that things will improve enough for us to be able to say with confidence the coast is completely clear.”

Organizers said they would have erred on the side of safety even if there were no government limits placed on public gatherings.

South Country Fair will return in 2021.

“This is a temporary measure,” they said in the news release. “We are hopeful that by this time next year we will be able to say it’s game on for No. 34 and with some luck many of the same artists will be available too.”

People who bought earlybird passes can hold on to them for 2020 or get a refund.

People can also donate their ticket purchase to help the South Country Fair Association get ready for next year.