BOISE, Idaho — The resurgence of COVID-19 cases has claimed another popular Boise event.
Organizers of the Hyde Park Street Fair announced on Thursday that for the health and safety of everyone, they are canceling the fair for the second year in a row.
The fair has been a main staple in Boise for over 40 years. It is put on by the North End Neighborhood Association (NENA) and held in Camel's Back Park.
The Hyde Park Street Fair was scheduled for September 17 through 19.
There was a lot of anticipation for the return of the fair in 2021, but organizers said they feel that given the rapidly increasing spread of COVID-19, it's not possible to keep people safe including vendors, performers, volunteers and guests.
The NENA board sent out a letter Thursday saying they've explored a few options to make the fair a safe and secure operation this year, including mandating masks. But unfortunately, none of the options to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus and hold a safe event were physically or financially within their ability. Here's part of that statement:
We do not feel it is within the values of the NENA organization to proceed with an event that could jeopardize the safety of the vendors, attendees, performers, or volunteers. As a community, we value our healthcare workers and we want to respect them by not contributing to the burdens they currently labor under while they care for Boiseans during this difficult time. As neighbors, we want to ensure that our event does not contribute to the reduction in hospital beds.
The decision was also made now to give more than 130 vendors time to change their plans. And even with enhanced cleaning and protective measures, there are safety concerns for the musicians and performers using the fair's two stages.
With the recent spread of the Delta variant in Boise, the NENA said trends are going the wrong direction. And they expressed additional concern for kids, especially those too young for vaccination.
The board summed up its letter with this comment:
For the safety of our community, we urge you to wear masks, wash your hands, distance yourself, and be safe. We hope to see you next year.