Leaders of Empire Days Upset Over Cancellation

Organizers of Empire Farm Days responded with straight talk and frustration recently when they learned that the county board of supervisors in Seneca Falls, N.Y., had canceled the show for 2020.

A statement that began with “we are beyond upset” called into question the wisdom of allowing thousands of protesters to gather without knowledge of where they’d been while events that have “a solid safety plan” are canceled.

“Empire Farm Days sincerely feels this is an injustice to the New York ag community, the small businesses and non-profit organizations in Seneca County that have benefited from the event for the last 30-plus years,” the statement said.

“Our attendees are from the rural areas of New York state that have had the least incidences of this virus, and our exhibitors are the essential businesses that have been open throughout this whole time period,” it said. “What possible harm could come to the people of Seneca County except to have hotels and restaurants as busy as possible?”

The county made the decision based upon, among other things, an executive order prohibiting gatherings of more than 25 persons.

“Empire Farm Days is not a county fair,” the statement said. “We do not have rides, games or the concentration of attendees that county fairs have. This is an outdoor ag community business event with a 90-year history.”

The show was scheduled for July 29 to 31. More than 400 ag-related businesses were expected to exhibit.

Sources: Fingerlakes1.com, Empire Farm Days