Louisiana has continued to have a high incidence of COVID-19. For the second time since March, we have experienced a high peak in the number of cases. Our state is currently in Phase 2 of reopening, and it is likely that we will remain in Phase 2 until sometime into the month of September. According to our amusement rides contractor, no state in the United States is currently allowing fairs and carnivals, except South Dakota and Montana. Concerns that arise with having a fair include: the safety of the fair participants--enforcing physical distancing, wearing a mask, and providing adequate sanitizing stations would be very difficult. Grave concerns abound about the potential risk to volunteer workers, elderly, and those with compromised health.
The State of Louisiana does not allow fairs and carnivals under Phase 2. From what we can ascertain, fairs will probably not be allowed under Phase 3. Since Louisiana has not proceeded beyond Phase 2, it is not clear at what point Fairs, festivals and carnivals will be allowed. Based on information from other states, these events are highly restrictive if allowed at all under Phase 3 and in some cases not allowed at all until Phase 4. In Louisiana, the State Fire Marshal will be governing body to issue guidelines and protocols for fairs and carnivals when the proper phase is reached.
The annual school calendar and, to some extent, the Parish Calendar, is built around the annual October Parish Fair. Due to the tight school and parish calendar (Lent, Easter, 1st Communion, Confirmation, Graduation) as well as potential conflicts with other events, postponing the fair until Spring is not possible. Our plan is to look forward to October 2021 for our next St. George Fair.
Fr. Yi has sought a wide range of input from many entities and groups regarding the feasibility of holding this event. Formally, Fr. Yi received recommendations from the St. George Council of Ministries, St. George Finance Council, St. George Fair Committee, St. George School administration and the parish staff.
Income from the St. George Fair is never included in the operating budget of St. George Church or St. George School. Therefore, normal operations of the church and school will not be effected by this cancellation. Fair proceeds are used every year to make desired improvements or to fund one time projects which are not included in the annual budget. Improvements funded by fair proceeds are always done “as funds are available”.
We do plan to have a raffle but details of the raffle are not solidified at this time. We will send more information as soon as we have it.
St. George is grateful to our parishioners, school parents, local companies who give their time, talent, and treasure each year to the parish fair. If you would like to make a contribution please contact Development Director Ashley Fabre, firstname.lastname@example.org or 225-293-2212