CHEVIOT, Ohio — The Harvest Home Fair, the West Side’s fall tradition 160 years in the making, is canceled due to coronavirus concerns.
Event Chair Pete Rebold said after a rough few years, the people behind Harvest Home Fair were looking forward to packing out the park on North Bend Road come September.
“The Harvest Home Fair is part of the glue that holds the West Side together,” he said.
For Rebold, the event is part fair, part family reunion. Since 1860, it's given thousands of Cincinnati families a place to gather.
“I think the last time the fair was actually canceled was a year or two during World War II,” he said.
Rain or shine, the community would see the fair through, but COVID-19 presented a problem they couldn’t weather.
“People say, you know, ‘Why so soon? Why don’t you wait?’ Well, we’re not in a position to wait.”
Even though the fair is months away, many vendors need signed contracts now. Rebold said the overhead for the fair is just north of $100,000 to convert the city park into a fairground.
Not to mention, the COVID-19 pandemic presents a slew of health concerns.
“We certainly didn’t want the reputation of being the fair that became a hotspot of the virus,” Rebold said.
He said all hope isn’t lost for a parade with social distancing, an event that can be pulled together in just a few days with less financial commitment and just as much fun.
“We’re definitely going to be back, but we don’t want to take a chance with your health, with your kids' health, this year,” Rebold said.
Organizers hope to bring back the Harvest Home Fair in 2021, and they encourage people to follow along on their Facebook page for updates and even some fair trivia while they wait to return.