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Mother Lode Fairgrounds Responds to COVID-19, Roundup In Doubt

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Sonora, CA – A Mother Lode spring mainstay may be the next big cancellation due to COVID-19.

Mother Lode Fairgrounds CEO Ken Alstott tells Clarke Broadcasting that the 63rd annual Mother Lode Roundup might have to be postponed or canceled due to coronavirus concerns that continue to trigger cautionary mandates from state officials.

“We are following the Governor’s and CDFA’s mandate that no events take place between March 15 and May 15,” he explains, adding that the home and Garden Show is another big event within that time window.

Alstott says if the order is lifted perhaps one or both events could still happen. “The events that are coming up, we will work with those people to either refund them or move their event to another date,” he shares.

In the meantime, regarding the onsite facilities, he says, “The RV park will remain open…restrooms, shower facilities could be closed at times for disinfecting.”

The CEO is optimistic that this year’s Mother Lode Fair with the theme “Working Hands and Cattle Brands,” scheduled for July 2-5 will still happen.

“It still looks like the Fair would be a good possibility, and so we will continue on the course of the exhibits,” Alstott maintains. “The Exhibit Book just went out online and the people who are interested, they can go to our website…and while you are sitting at home and you have nothing to do, so through that Exhibit Book and pick out an item to enter into the Fair this year.”

Asked what potential financial impacts the fairgrounds might face he shares that a conference call of fair groups convened to address related issues. “There is funding and tax money coming down later in the year that might be released ahead of time. The Fair itself has revenue set aside and will be able to maintain.”

As for everyday operations, the office will remain open with minimal staff and folks are asked to call or email ahead to interface because the doors will be physically locked as a safety precaution. Of course, he says, “If the state uses us for health or food distribution, we will be here to help the community in any way we can.”

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