Dept. of Health files lawsuit against Carlisle Events

Carlisle/West Shore

CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) — The Pennsylvania Department of Health is suing Carlisle Events to stop its Spring Carlisle car show.

The Department of Health is concerned for the spread of COVID-19, as the event expects up to 100,000 visitors and it would violate the 250 person gathering limit outlined in Governor Wolf’s Green Phase of reopening.

According to the complaint, on June 9, Carlisle Events inquired to the Department of Community & Economic Development about a waiver that would permit Spring Carlisle to exceed the 250-person limit. The DCED responded saying it must follow all green phase guidance issued by the Department of Health, including the limit of no gatherings larger than 250 people at a time.

The Secretary of Health requested that Carlisle Events respond in writing by 7 p.m. on June 16, to confirm that all event organizers will adhere to all orders, including the 250-person limitation, and no response was received.

According to Carlisle Event’s website, it plans to proceed with Spring Carlisle. It did announce it was canceling the in-person action this week.

Mike Garland, Public relations manager for Carlisle Events released the following statement:

This morning (June 17, 2020), Carlisle Events received notice of a lawsuit filed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health in the Commonwealth Court. The filing seeks to apply and enforce the Department’s 250-person COVID-19 limit to outdoor events, such as our Spring Carlisle event, which opened this morning. We have retained counsel and intend to vigorously defend this action.

Similar to other large outdoor entertainment venues and amusement parks that have or are scheduled to open under the Green Phase in southcentral Pennsylvania, our approximately 100-acre event facility provides ample space for vendors and patrons to interact in a responsible manner, consistent with the CDC’s social distancing and other COVID-19 guidelines.

Carlisle Events has worked tirelessly to put on this event in a socially responsible manner and will continue to do so. We believe the Department of Health’s Order is invalid. Even if the Order is valid, the Department has erred in its application to outside events such as ours, or has acted arbitrarily in seeking to enforce the order against us, while permitting other entertainment venues to open.

We very much appreciate the business and support of our patrons and vendors during this time, and we hope that we will be able to continue to provide quality entertainment events that have become such an important part of our local and regional economy for the next forty-five years and more.

The full lawsuit can be found here.

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