2020 Prince Albert Summer Fair, Polkafest put on pause due to COVID-19

Polkafest 2019. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

Prince Albert Summer Fair and Polkafest goers will be forced to stay home this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Prince Albert Exhibition Association President Robbie Ross says it will be well worth the wait.

The summer fair was set to run from Jul. 28 to Aug. 1, while Polkafest is typically held in late August. However, the board of directors voted to hold off on this year’s plans and focus on the 2021 events.

“As difficult as this decision was, it is in the best interests of our community & public health, and it is the right action at this time,” said Ross in a news release.

This is the first time the fair will not run in 139 years.

Planning by the 15 board members was “well underway,” he said, “however, that planning will not be wasted, watch for summer fair 2021 to be an even more spectacular community event.”

The summer fair sees over 40,000 people go through its gates every year. The event consists of animal and craft competitions, agriculture shows, a vendor trade show, a petting zoo, a midway, nightly grandstand concerts, chuckwagon races, heavy horse pulls and fireworks. It brings millions of dollars to Prince Albert and surrounding areas.

“This announcement isn’t easy for anyone to make—we will see you in 2021 with a new look, a new feel and we look forward to seeing you,” read the release.

Additionally, the city’s Polkafest is one of the largest in western Canada, drawing polka bands from across the country and attendees from across North America.

“I would like to thank our municipal and provincial partners for their support and as well our community, sponsors and participants for their support in the past and we look forward to planning future community events as restrictions are eased. In the meantime stay safe and we look forward to serving you in the future,” said Ross.

The exhibition association will continue assess its events moving forward on an event-by-event basis.

“We can’t stress enough how important this community is to our operation and look forward to bringing the Prince Albert region together again in the near future,” the release said.