LANCASTER — The Antelope Valley Fair & Alfalfa Festival will not return until 2022 due to ongoing COVID-19 event venue restrictions.

AV Fair & Event Center officials announced Friday that the 2021 AV Fair & Alfalfa Festival would be postponed until next year.

The recent state reopening announcements, which include permitting California theme and amusement parks to reopen on April 1 at 15% capacity under updated guidelines for red-tier counties — the second highest level of risk — from the state’s health department, do not include large-scale event venues such as the AV Fairgrounds.

The AV Fair & Alfalfa Festival traditionally takes place in late August. The fair requires logistical planning to begin 12 months in advance of the event dates. With no firm commitment from the state or Los Angeles County on opening up large-scale attendance events, being able to host a 10-day fair with a potential daily attendance of 20,000 people on any given day by August, the decision to postpone the 2021 AV Fair and to focus fair planning on the 2022 event is the only choice at this time, officials said.

An important and beloved component of the AV Fair & Alfalfa Festival is the annual Kiwanis Jr. Livestock Auction. The auction is scheduled to take place this year on Aug. 26. While this year’s auction will be like a traditional auction, there will be a hybrid component. Online bidding and in-person options will be available. Details of the auction are being finalized and will be shared as more information becomes available.

The AV Fair & Event Center leadership, staff and various committee members are also planning a “Barntober Fest.” The October festival will include family-friendly traditions of gathering, fabulous fair food, iconic carnival rides and select exhibits. The 10-day “Barntober Fest” is scheduled for Oct. 8 to 17. Details will be announced soon.

 “We’re encouraged that the State and County are beginning to open up,” AV Fair & Event Center President, Drew Mercy said in a statement. “However, not having the green light for large-scale events to resume, including not knowing the attendance restrictions and other guidelines, coupled with having over a year and a half of in-venue cancellations, it is simply not realistic to plan a traditional fair this year.

“As disappointing as this news is, the fair teams are in the throes of planning for both a fabulous October festival and the annual Kiwanis Jr. Livestock Auction. I am confident that both the auction and the ‘Barntober Fest’ will delight attendees, vendors, and  sponsors alike.”

Follow the AV Fair & Event Center on social media for updates and announcements.

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