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Officials cancel Cayuga County Fair amid COVID-19 uncertainty; moves to keep public spaces closed over holiday weekend

Officials in Cayuga County are preparing for a busy holiday weekend, despite social distancing guidelines and public spaces that will remain closed.

“This Memorial Day weekend will feel very different. We will miss the cheering crowds in the streets and children waving flags as a parade of decorated vehicles, marching bands, and other civic organizations pass us by,” officials said in a press release. “We will miss the wreath laying and other community events we have come to expect on this particular weekend. Instead, we will have to find quieter and more personal ways to remember and pay respect to the service members who have given their lives for this country. According to the Governor, ceremonies marking this holiday with 10 or fewer participants is permissible this weekend.”

Officials say that as a thoughtful, slow reopening of the regional economy continues – they are asking residents to maintain space to ensure that the coronavirus does not accelerate.

The Chair of the Legislature has issued an Emergency Order effective Friday extending the closing of all playgrounds, sporting fields, and athletic courts except tennis courts within the county. It also requires visitors to public parks to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from unrelated persons.

To enjoy the nicer weather, there are a number of outdoor activities that we can engage in while practicing social distancing and wearing a mask when a distance of 6 feet cannot be maintained:

– Outdoor, low-risk recreational activities like tennis, golf, and driving ranges (exept miniature golf)
– Beaches and shorelines (follow safety and capacity instructions of staff on site)
– Boating, kayaking, canoeing, row boats
– Parks and open public spaces (except playgrounds)
– Drive-in movie theater

While new guidelines are being worked out, the following activities remain not permissible until further notice:

– Playgrounds and basketball courts remain closed
– No contact sports on athletic fields
– No live music as this may attract crowds
– No garage sales

Looking ahead, officials announced the cancelation of the Independence Day Celebration and Fireworks and the Cayuga County Fair. The uncertainty regarding relaxing restrictions on gatherings prevents the planning required to ensure safe and enjoyable events.

“After careful deliberation and collaboration we felt that continuing these events would violate the mass gathering guidelines and contribute to the spread of the coronavirus,” said Aileen McNabb-Coleman, Chair of the Cayuga County Legislature. “I understand it is disappointing to not be able to mark the holidays with our usual traditions, but the health and safety of our community members remains our highest priority.”