LANCASTER — The 2021 Antelope Valley Fair & Alfalfa Festival will return as an eight-day event this October in place of the previously announced AV Fair & Alfalfa “Barntober Fest,” AV Fair officials said Friday.
The 82nd event will take place Oct. 1 through 10, with dark days scheduled for Oct. 4 and 5.
The AV Fair & Alfalfa Festival traditionally takes place in late August. Fair officials had to cancel last year’s fair due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Planning the fair typically takes 12 months in advance of the event dates. As such, AV Fair officials announced plans in March for the “Barntober Fest” festival in October in consideration of the ongoing COVID-19 large venue restrictions in place at the time. Those mandates lifted when the state reopened the economy on June 15 with some restrictions.
The 2021 AV Fair will feature the traditional fair food, carnival rides, games, pig races, live music, select exhibits and arena events including the RAM PRCA California Circuit Finals Rodeo, a Hispanic rodeo and concert, two Monster Truck shows, Figure 8 races, the Rural Olympics and the popular Demolition Derby. Online general admission and rodeo arena event tickets will go on sale Aug. 2. Dates for the additional online presale arena event ticket sales will be announced in the coming few weeks.
“Since things have gotten better and the state reopened last month, we realized we had an opportunity because we had time with it being in October rather August to reassess, make sure we’re following state guidelines, and do everything we can to keep people safe,” Mercy said.
He added they will continue to monitor the situation and adjust accordingly.
“We’re really excited to be able to bring this back,” Mercy said.
Mercy visited the Orange County Fair, which is going on through Aug. 15 at the Orange County Fair and Event Center in Costa Mesa.
“They’ve made some adjustments as well, but it was a great time,” Mercy said.
Vendors are also looking forward to returning to the fair after a year away.
“We’ve gotten a lot of interest and excitement in coming back,” Mercy said.
The Orange County Fair requires unvaccinated guests to wear masks inside the fair buildings, according to its website.
Mercy said they will continue to monitor safety requirements as per the Los Angeles County and California departments of Public Health to ensure they will be in full compliance for a fun and safe fair.
This year’s event will not include any headline arena concerts, which have a longer planning process, Mercy said. However, the move to October allowed fair officials to incorporate the California Circuit Rodeo Finals the first weekend. In addition, the Cantina Stage will feature the traditional live music for fairgoers.
“Throughout the evening at any time we’ve got some great entertainment there,” Mercy said.
The 66th annual Kiwanis Junior Livestock Auction presented by Parris Law Firm will take place Aug.26. This year’s event is planned as a hybrid event, with online bidding options and an in-person event. Details of the auction are being finalized and will be announced as more information becomes available.