The Downtown Community Partnership (DCP) has made the extremely difficult decision to cancel this year’s Downtown Fargo Street Fair. The decision was made to protect the health and safety of vendors, attendees and volunteers. While this announcement comes on the heels of Saturday’s destructive Downtown Fargo rioting, this decision was made late last week in response to ongoing precautions surrounding the spread of coronavirus.
“We know how important this event is to the region, attendees, performers and vendors, and it was so difficult for the Downtown Community Partnership to vote to skip it this summer,” Downtown Community Partnership President and CEO Melissa Brandt said.
Fair organizers brainstormed countless alternatives to canceling the street fair, including moving the date, but the availability of vendors and volunteers along with the extra precautions needed made the event’s success seemed unlikely. Per CDC guidelines and state recommendations, events should be limited to less than 500 people and advise those over age 65 avoid events and crowds.
DCP will focus on strengthening partnerships with members and investors in order to provide small businesses the tools they need to build back after a thoroughly devastating crisis.
“We still hope 150,000 people will walk through the streets of downtown Fargo this year, but instead of those people visiting in a three-day span, let’s spread out over three months to promote safety and well-being,” Brandt says. “Following the destructive events Saturday night, it’s more important than ever for visitors to support our downtown businesses and show how proud we are of our vibrant downtown community. While we fully support everyone who peacefully protested early Saturday, the vandalism, violence and looting hurts small business owners who are already struggling amid this pandemic.”
DCP will continue its work of advocating for and promoting small businesses, including innovating new ways to draw people in to experience Downtown Fargo. DCP is collaborating with partners to develop exciting, safe alternatives to enrich visitors’ Downtown Fargo experience this summer and get our small businesses back on their feet.
As a 501(c)6 non-profit, the Downtown Community Partnership depends on the annual street fair to finance the work the organization does throughout to year to support downtown businesses. While canceling the fair this year means DCP will lose money, it gives the organization time to regroup and ensure a successful 2021 event.
The Downtown Community Partnership is looking forward to an outright celebration at next year’s Downtown Fargo Street Fair. For more information and updates on the 2021 Downtown Fargo Street Fair, please visit our Facebook page.