Background. The New York State Fair is held in late August, and runs to Labor Day. I’ve entered the photography competition at the Fair for the past 11 years, and even though there was a slow, fallow period between 2014 and 2018 for me (with the exception of 2015, there were no ribbons or showings), I broke back onto the walls in 2019, with four images (and an Honorable Mention for After the Rain).
But … the 2020 New York State Fair may not happen. And with it, the photograph competition might be postponed to 2021 as well.
And sure enough, someone asked him about the State Fair for 2020.
COVID-19 strikes again.
Without a vaccine or an antidote for the novel coronavirus, and with New York still on lockdown, there’s no way you can have an event with 100,000 people per day, all packed into a small, open footprint, and have it run for two weeks. No way Even if there were some easing of restrictions, it’s just not possible.
And trust me, I understand why this must happen. We’re trying to stop the spread of this insidious virus and its unmitigated, unvanquished slaughtering power. And if it means that we can’t have the New York State Fair this year … (gritting my teeth) I’m okay with that decision. Our safety is more important than a few photos on a fair building wall.
And if the New York State Fair goes dark for 2020, you know that the county fairs might have to fall in line as well. How are you going to maintain social distancing at the Altamont Fair?
Surprisingly, one of the fairs that constitutes my usual competition season is still planning on opening, albeit in August. That’s the Iowa State Fair, and they’ve already offered a Call for Art for their photography salon. So if that’s still operational, I’ll submit my four entries, and it’ll be a VERY SHORT COMPETITION SEASON this year.
And I’ll be okay with that.
Of course, in the back of my mind, I’m already aiming for 2021. And if this coronavirus finally gets the hint and goes away forever …
I’ll have TWO YEARS to come up with my best images. And I don’t care if my final photo has the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train photographed under a Milky Way, shot with three different rolls of film (two expired) that are merged together into one super-mega image. If that’s what I’m going with … then that’s what I’m going with, bunkies.
It’s another sacrifice I must make.
But it will be better in the long run.