BERKELEY: On April 20, the Ocean County Fair took to their Facebook page to break the upsetting news about Covid cancelling our fair yet again- for Summer 2021. Organizers stated how they’re unable to hold the event because capacity restrictions are still in place- and blamed COVID.

No children will be happy on the Frog Hopper come this July

Much of the fun-busting is due to our inept Governor still unable to realistically adjust OUTDOOR restrictions for large events. Imagine many families attempting to begin restoring some normalcy in their lives this summer? The option of attending an OUTDOOR fair this July- even with 50% occupancy limits- would have made many families smile this year. Running the OC fair definitely would have been possible to plan with a years’ worth of research already to draw upon. If major theme parks and attractions have figured out operating in a Post-Covid world, surely this small fair in the middle of the woods should have been able to.

Nobody is denouncing Covid, its’ effects, or the seriousness of it; but enough is enough- especially with outdoor events. The social anxiety, depression and other mental issues now being created by many living sheltered lives for a year need to be addressed. Much of the sadness now is due overbearing and unnecessary restrictions on outdoor gatherings. Most of society wants to, and needs to- get back to a safe and clean world again- we need human interaction restored. A large outdoor open Air Park would be excellent to allow 50% limitations on crowds, along with entry:exit points well defined to be able to adhere to occupancy limits. Anyway, please do read the full story below, with the actual information- not just our slightly opinionated rant.

“Sadly, once again we must cancel the Ocean County Fair. COVID restriction placed on us by the state and 4H being limited from having large gatherings make it impossible for us to safely host our 2021 County Fair.” Although the Ocean County fair is canceled this year, organizers are already looking forward to planning for 2022, aiming towards a scheduled date of July 13 to 17.

Last year, organizers put out a similar statement: “Rutgers Cooperative Extension/4H has put a hold on all 4H activities through August. 4H is such a strong partner of the fair that we cannot see a way forward without them this year.” The organizers are volunteers, and they rely on the assistance of 4H and other groups. The 2020 fair would have been the 73rd year of the fair. The only years they missed were 2020 and 2021.

According to its history, the Ocean County Board of Agriculture held the first annual “4-H Achievement and Agricultural Ocean County Field Day” on September 6, 1947. It started at the Ocean County Park in Lakewood, but outgrew it in the 1980s. It was then relocated to the Robert J. Miller Airpark in Berkeley Township. The first four-day fair was in 1982.

It used to be an agricultural show for local farmers to show off their crops. However, as farming gave way to housing and commercial development, there are very few farms left locally. The 4-H has taken on the agricultural aspect of the fair, showing off what families have grown and nurtured.