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The Essex Agricultural Society, the organization that runs the Topsfield Fair, announced that for the safety of fairgoers, staff, volunteers, vendors, exhibitors, and sponsors, it has made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Topsfield Fair.

“For the past few months we have continued to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and based on the recommendations of local, state, and federal health agencies, the board of directors of the Essex Agricultural Society has made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Topsfield Fair,” said James O’Brien, General Manager of the Topsfield Fair. 

“We understand the impact of this decision for small businesses, family farms, competitors, and exhibitors and the disappointment of hundreds of thousands of people who look forward to the Topsfield Fair each year.  However, the safety and health of our community has to be our top priority and due to the current restrictions hosting the Topsfield Fair this year is impossible.”

Since America’s Oldest Fair began in 1818, it has only been canceled two other times.  In 1918 all agricultural fairs in the state were cancelled due to a worldwide influenza pandemic (Spanish Flu) and again during 1943-1945 for World War II.  When the fair returned in 1946, it opened to record-breaking attendance.

“We understand the disappointment that comes with this news as we feel the same,” said O’Brien.  “As our scheduled opening day got closer it became clear that we could not create a fun, safe, and enjoyable experience that fairgoers have come to expect and deserve.”

“We are looking at the potential of hosting some of our contests privately to continue that tradition and we will make any contest-related announcements if and when the details are finalized,” added O’Brien.  “Everyone associated with the Essex Agricultural Society and the Topsfield Fair looks forward to better days ahead and celebrating the 2021 Topsfield Fair in October 2021.”

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