‘We love that we can offer that again’: Interstate Fair moves forward with new safety precautions

SPOKANE, Wash. — Despite numerous other event cancelations, the Spokane County Interstate Fair kicks off on Friday. Event organizers say the event draws around 200,000 people, but they’re prepared to keep families safe while having fun.

“We want to make sure that we’re able to safely move forward with the fair, and we feel really confident that we can do that,” said Erin Gurtel, the Director for the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center.

She says they’ve had conversations with community partners about whether or not to have the event, and adopted new safety measures so they could bring the fair back. This year, masks will be required when you’re inside event halls. There will also be more outdoor seating, and food booths will be more spread out. Last year, they did a drive-thru fair food event but say you can’t replace the full experience.

“There’s nothing that can replace actually having the fair and the energy that you feel when you’re here on site,” Gurtel said. “The smiles and the laughter and the traditions and what brings families together to make memories out here. We love that we can offer that again.”

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They’ve been talking with the Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) about their plans moving forward. SRHD says it wants to give the community options to host safe events if possible.

“Our goal is to provide them as much guidance and advice as we can to have a safe event,” said Dr. Frank Velazquez, the Interim Health Officer for SRHD.

They’ve encouraged them to have ample signs, masks and flow patterns on site to keep people safe. The fair also received a $50,000 grant to install over 100 touchless handwashing stations. They’re also encouraging people to visit the fair on the weekdays to curb traffic flow. They say planning ahead during the 10-day event can help lessen the rush on the weekends.

If you want to learn more about the fair or purchase tickets, you can do so here.

RELATED: Southeast Spokane County Fair canceled because of COVID 

RELATED: Masks required while indoors at the Spokane County Interstate Fair