BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The Kern County Fair’s board of directors met for the last time ahead of the gates opening Wednesday. For the most part, this year’s fair will look familiar to fairgoers who walked the grounds in 2019.
“It’ll be a little lighter, but not by much,” chairwoman Blodgie Rodriguez said. “Some of our our traditional vendors that are nonprofits won’t be here this year.”
Mainstays like the Kern County Basque Club and Bakersfield Fire won’t have stations this year. For these organizations and others, the chances of catching COVID were just too great.
“Our nonprofits are all volunteers, so those are risks that they’re simply not willing to take,” Rodriguez said. “There are a lot of fires going on right now, and those firefighters are being pulled.”
Livestock exhibitions are also down this year. About half as many animals will be shown compared to 2019.
Fairgoers won’t need to provide proof of vaccination or mask up, but directors are strongly encouraging masking and social distancing procedures.
“Remember the common measures we were taught early in (the pandemic): social distancing, washing hands, and keeping the face covered,” director David Torres said. “I think that as long as we’re able to do that, they will be able to ensure for themselves that they will have a safe fair.”
The fair is partnering with the Kern County Public Health Department to offer a free vaccination clinic. No appointments are required.