YORKTOWN, N.Y. - This year’s Yorktown Grange Fair may be looking very different depending on what restrictions are in place come September.
If allowed by the state and town, the event will take place Friday, Sept. 11, Saturday, Sept. 12 and Sunday, Sept. 13.
“We are cautiously proceeding as if there’s going to be a fair,” said Peggy Derevlany, owner of Taconic Marketing, the firm in charge of marketing for the Grange Fair. “Given the guidance on outdoor gatherings is pretty iffy right now, we’re hoping we’ll be able to have a fair outdoors with masks.”
The fair has been a part of the community since 1923 and turns 96 this year, as it skipped a year during World War II.
In May, the firm announced the theme for this year’s fair will be “Still Going Strong” and has decided as a way to welcome the community back together, there will be no admission charge. Rides and concessions will still be for purchase.
But with the unknowns of a physical fair looming, a new approach to the fair’s annual competitions have been revealed.
The Yorktown Grange Fair has set up a “virtual fair” where residents can submit their entries on the fair’s website where they will be judged virtually.
“If you’re growing pumpkins in your backyard, you can take a picture of a pumpkin on the vine and send it in. People can judge it and we have all the rules on the website,” Derevlany said.
She said that there are numerous categories for competitions including baking for adults and kids, flowers and produce, Legos, needlepoint, a costume contest, photography, woodworking and more.
The idea for a virtual fair stemmed from wanting to encourage people to have family time when creating or growing their entries, according to Derevlany.
“This is really an idea to keep the fair going,” Derevlany said. “The fair’s been going 96 years and you kinda hate to break the continuity. So this is a way to keep it going and also give people something fun to do.”
She said that if there is indeed a physical fair, people are welcome to bring their entries with them but if not, they will still be awarding prizes, most likely certificates.
Taconic Marketing has also been trying to sort out entertainment if the fair goes on in person as planned.
“One thing we are trying to get off the ground is entertainment and battle of the bands where the winner, if we are able to have a regular fair, would appear at the fair as entertainment,” Derevlany said. “If there’s no fair, there’s going to be no opportunity for people to play live.”
While the fair is being planned “within limits,” it’s now a waiting game on what state regulations on gatherings will be.
“If we don’t get a go-ahead from the town and the state by mid-August, personally I don’t think there’s much we’d be able to do,” Derevlany said.
Despite ensuring the competitions go on virtually, other entertainment will not be live-streamed in lieu of a fair.
“If there’s no fair, nothing in particular will be going on that weekend,” Derevlany said.
To find out more or to enter the Virtual Fair visit https://yorktowngrangefair.org/