Maui Discussion

BREAKING: 98th Maui Fair in 2021 Canceled Due to Ongoing COVID-19 Concerns

By Wendy Osher
May 20, 2021, 5:56 AM HST
* Updated May 21, 5:13 AM
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Maui Fair grounds. PC: Wendy Osher.

The 98th Maui Fair is canceled again this year due to ongoing public health concerns related to the continued presence of COVID-19 in the community. 

The Maui Fair Alliance “reluctantly” made the decision saying concerns remain about spreading the virus when a large number of people gather in a limited area.

Organizers say protocols, including limiting attendance, requiring social distancing, reducing lines, providing physical spacing guides, and increasing cleaning and sanitation, “made it clear that the prudent action would be to cancel the Maui Fair to protect the health and safety of attendees, volunteers, vendors, staff, and entertainers.” 

Avery Chumbley, Alliance President, said even with the increasing number of those vaccinated in Maui, the risk for cluster spread of the virus remains too high to hold the Maui Fair this year. The event was eyed for Sept. 30 to Oct. 3, 2021, but will not proceed this year.

The four-day event was also canceled in 2020 at the request of the County of Maui, due to public health concerns related to the pandemic. The last time the Maui Fair was held was in 2019 when attendance for the 97th Maui Mair was logged an estimated 90,000 individuals. The event serves as the primary source of funding for many of Maui’s nonprofit and community organizations.

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“While our hearts are heavy knowing we will not be gathering for our 98th annual celebration this year, our highest priority is to hold a fair where our guests and participants and our community will be safe,” said Chumbley.

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“We all want to be able to come together and enjoy each other’s company without increased concerns and restrictions. I encourage you to be kind, courteous, respectful, and responsible as we will get through this and gather again to celebrate all that is exceptional about the Maui Fair” said Sherri Grimes, Managing Director of Maui Fair.

The decision comes after consultation with the Governor’s office, the State Department of Health, and the Mayor of the County of Maui to understand the restrictions imposed by the public health rules and guidelines for holding the Maui Fair.

Plans are to resume discussion for an event next year, in 2022.  

97th Maui Fair, opening day. (10.3.19) Photo by Wendy Osher.
Wendy Osher
Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served more than 20 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.
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