Many radio amateurs and hobbyists in the Northeast already know that the Deerfield Fair Association voted reluctantly but overwhelmingly to cancel the 2020 Fair at a special meeting on Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020.
Ben, KB1NZN, and I are members and were at the meeting. We both voted for cancellation and totally agree with the decision of the Deerfield Fair Association membership who voted 105 to 5 in favor of cancelling the Fair. There was not one good reason put forth during the discussion in favor of holding the Fair this year.
Especially in these unprecedented times our first responsibility must be to the health and well-being of our volunteer staff, exhibitors, attendees, fairgrounds staff and the local area residents who graciously welcome us twice a year to their community. We cannot betray this trust.
Furthermore there is no possible way we can realistically maintain the six foot “social distancing” separation especially in the flea market, commercial buildings, forums and VE examination rooms. This is required whenever possible by the NH Governor’s Special Covid-19 Task Force.
Consequently, as a result, we have no option except to cancel NEAR-Fest XXVIII.
However the good news is that NEAR-Fest XXIX is already scheduled for Friday April 30th and Saturday May 1st 2021 and NEAR-Fest XXX for October 12th and 13th 2021.
We will be selling advance tickets starting in the Fall. For advance ticket buyers the cost of admission will remain at $10.00 per person. However starting next Spring the price of admission at the gate will be $15.00. Inside parking and camping fees will remain the same. I will post additional information about advance ticket sales in the Fall.
We know this isn’t going to be a popular decision but with the Fair cancelling I think we would create some ill-will in the area if we show up ten days later. This may affect us later down the road. I am sure many of the locals are relieved to know we are staying away this time…..
Also attendance would surely be very low and we would probably lose money. Lat’s wait six more months and return in style when it is safe.
Michael Crestohl, aka “MisterMike”, W1RC
New England Amateur Radio Festival, Inc.