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Food, fellowship and fun – three factors often associated with fairs. With the understanding that the first two would be greatly hampered as a result of the COIVD-19 pandemic, the folks of Scotland County will have to wait another year for the latter too, as on Monday, June 8th, the Scotland County Antique Fair Association (SCAFA) announced the cancellation of its 2020 event.
“It is with deep regret that the Board of Directors and other members present have voted to cancel the Antique Fair scheduled for August 26th -30th 2020 that is held on the Memphis Square,” said SCAFA Chairman Leon Buford. “Our goal is to return the fair festivities in the following year of 2021.”
The board cited concerns with the COVID 19 guidelines and social distancing restrictions combined with the availability of products for food vendors and the requirements needed for sanitation procedures for all vendors.
Representatives of the Scotland County Rotary Club mirrored the SCAFA comments related to the scarcity and costs of products associated with fundraisers for the event. The club annual hosts a chicken and pork chop barbecue on the Saturday of the Antique Fair as one of the local non-for profits main fundraisers of the year. Because the scarcity and subsequent high prices for the meat products, the club’s leadership had informed the SCAFA they likely would not be able to participate this year. Rotary also hosts a bingo tent nightly during the event. That entertainment venue was also likely to be extremely hampered by sanitary restrictions as the game uses paper cards that are passed out by hand before each game as well ink dobbers that are shared by each round of players.
Buford cited similar concerns for the SCAFA, which generates a majority of the revenue to produce the annual event through concession sales at the group’s “cook shack”. The group would also be responsible for the overall sanitary conditions of all of the seating, restrooms and other high volume public access areas.
THE SCAFA also was faced with uncertainty related to parade participants as well as displays and sales booths that normally fill the courthouse lawn. Combining the higher cost of products with the uncertainty related to projected attendance numbers placed vendors in a predicament, limiting potential for profitability.
The King and Queen for the 2020 Scotland County Antique Fair had already been selected. Buford indicated that the royalty announcement would be held over until next year’s event when the couple will have the opportunity to reign over the 2021 events.