Dates of when the Christmas Craft Fair will be operating
Photo provided by Ciera Keith

Santa isn’t coming to this years Christmas Craft Fair

In spite of pandemic scares, the popular Douglas County Christmas Craft Fair at the fairgrounds is happening December 4 through 6, but on a much smaller scale with a lot of restrictions, fewer booths and more inconvenience.

“The fairground staff thought they could do it in a safe manner and give it a shot with big enough buildings, cutting vendors back and continuing with positive thinking, thinking safety first,” Daniel Hults, the fairgrounds director for the past 21 years, said.

For safety, the fairground staff is requiring facial masks and that guests sanitize or wash hands at their stations around each building, and the vendors will also provide sanitation at their own booths. Guests who do not wear a mask will be asked to wear a mask or leave, Hults said. If the incidence rate of COVID rises, the event will not happen.

Traffic flow will be restricted. Only 70 guests, including children, will be allowed in any of the fairground buildings at a time during the event with only 100 people total allowed in any one building including staff and vendors.

Flyer for the upcoming Christmas Craft Fair
Photo provided by Ciera Keith

Between every booth will be 12 foot aisles and arrows on the ground to show people where to stand six feet apart. Only one entrance and one exit will be used. Traffic will be directed from the entrance through the buildings and out the exit with arrows.

Hults said that the fairground staff are treating this just like if people were at the grocery store.

A third of the normal amount of vendors are expected, and a limited amount of food trucks will be invited along with a coffee cart, nowhere near the amount usually allowed. Santa is not allowed because, as Hults said, “You can’t social distance with Santa.”

Visitors can expect to wait outside under personal umbrellas or fairground tents or awnings in case of rain due to the restricted amount of guests allowed in at a time. Hults advises guests to bring warm clothing and maybe an umbrella. They should wear masks outside and inside.

The fair is planned at this time to run Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will be free, so no cash will be exchanged, but the vendors will have the choice to accept cash or credit card.

Usually, the vendors who have had booths in the past have a guaranteed spot for the next fair but lose their guaranteed spot if they skip a year. This year, vendors who decide not to attend for safety reasons will not be penalized for skipping. The vendors will also have to agree to pay a little more money for a space as well because it is going to be a free event. The fairgrounds will make less money this year, but they still wanted to prove that they could provide a fun, safe event.

As of right now, no vendors have been chosen and so the fairgrounds has not advertised this event other than on Facebook.

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