York State Fair prepares for increased capacity limits at events

York

YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – The state is set to ease some COVID restrictions Sunday.

That means outdoor events like the York State Fair Food Festival this weekend will be allowed to have more people.

It will also be a game changer for other outdoor events as temperatures continue to warm up.

The York State Fair had to be canceled last year because of COVID restrictions, meaning a big chunk of income was lost for many food trucks.

York State Fair CEO Bryan Blair says they’ve held smaller-scale events at the fairgrounds since September include other food festivals and indoor sports competitions, but the revised capacity limits starting Sunday are a big deal.

“Seeing the outdoor capacity increase to 50% is huge to us because we can hold a lot of people here at the fairgrounds,” Blair said. “The indoor capacity’s increasing to 25% so that’ll give us a little more breathing room to work with.”

For Michael Meyer, owner of Uncle Paul’s Stuffed Pretzels, all the fairs and festivals he usually brings his food truck to were canceled.

There were some events he went to and he also visited neighborhoods to make money.

“We’re optimistic for this year and hopefully we’re able to continue on the same path and we’re able to get back to normal, or the new normal, whatever that may be,” Meyer said.

Meyer was able to sustain his business last year, but not everyone was as fortunate.

“Some of my friends that I’ve met through the years ended up having to give this up, their business, just because of the struggles of last year,” Meyer said.

Steven and Lori Myers own Sweet Treats based out of West York. It’s not their primary income, but they’re excited to be operating their truck once again.

“Now people are getting their shots and things are easing up a little bit. Everyone’s enjoying it, you know,” Steven Meyers said.

As for the York State Fair which starts July 23, Blair is planning to have all the normal activities and vendors.

“We just had a conference call with our Midway provider, Straight Shows out of Orlando Florida this past week and they’re planning all of their logistics, how they’re going to move north from Florida, so they’re still planning on being here.”

Blair says tickets for the concerts are selling well, with headliners including Pitbull, Sam Hunt and Kane Brown.

He says they haven’t announced protocols and policies for summer events because they’re waiting to hear updated guidance from the CDC and Pa. Department of Health.

“April and May, hopefully, we’ll see a lot of changes. And so the last thing we wanted to do is come out with a set of protocols and restrictions for the fair and then have to turn around and change that in May or June,” Blair said.

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