FAIRPORT, N.Y. (WROC) — Organizers of Fairport Canal Days announced that this year’s events will be taking place on June 5 and June 6.
Festival organizers announced the dates earlier this year, but said it’s all subject to change as they worked to navigate the festival guidance. However on Wednesday mornings, the official announcement came.
According to organizers, the festival will occupy a “smaller footprints” with all activities taking place north of the canal. The festival will also have about half the usual numbers of artisans and craft vendors. Organizers are also encouraging attendees to wear masks at the event.
Vendors will also be placed along Liftbridge Lane East, North Main Street, and Railroad Street and are expected to meet social distancing guidelines. According to organizers, the festival will be capped at 11,956 attendees.
“The return of Fairport Canal Days is an encouraging sign that we’re slowly but surely returning to getting back to normal,” Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said during the announcement on Wednesday.
Organizers released the following facts on what to expect for this year’s Fairport Canal Days:
- The festival will occupy a smaller footprint, with all activities taking place north of the canal
- There will be about half the usual number of artisans, crafts vendors
- Primary controlled site hubs will be in the Box Factory, Fairport Junction, the Cannery, and North Main parking lots
- Vendors will also be placed along Liftbridge Lane East, North Main Street, and Railroad Street
- All placements will meet current social distancing guidelines
- All vendors will observe current social distancing guidelines
- Guests attending the festival are asked to observe and respect social distancing guidelines
- Festival capacity is capped at 11,956 and will be monitored by police and security staff on the ground and via drone.
- Festival parking will be available in municipal lots off South Main Street. Pedestrian access to the festival site is via the Parker Street bridge
- Canal Nights and Duck Race events will not return in 2021
“Fairport is by nature an optimistic community. Here, it is rarely about ‘if’ we should do something, it is typically about ‘how’ we should do it,” Committee Chairman Ed Bradford said in a statement.
“It’s been a very long year,” Bradford added. “The Canal Days Committee is excited to return. We felt it was critical for our community, our economy and our mental health.”
During Wednesday’s announcement, organizers also revealed the official 2021 festival poster which is called “Fairport Celebrates” by Elaine Schmitt.
“My Mom and I actually had a booth in the very first Canal Days, which was just a circle of tables around a parking lot at that time,” Schmitt said in a statement.
“I love Fairport and its history. So many of the places in the painting hold memories for me. My children grew up participating in many of the activities depicted…the crew team, band, scouts, kayaking and Perinton Ambulance. Now my grandkids frequent the library, the boardwalk and canal path, the new train depot and of course the ice cream shops. It has been a wonderful place to grow up and raise kids. I loved doing this painting.”
Posters may be purchased during festival hours at the information booth located on North Main Street. The artist will be available to sign posters from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. both days.
Last week, the Monroe County Department of Public Health sent out a notice saying organizations planning outdoor events and festivals can ask for help navigating the state’s latest COVID-19 guidance.
The changing guidance has caused issues for events like the Rochester International Jazz Festival, which was canceled, and the Town of Greece Memorial Day Parade, which was canceled then not canceled.
“We’re still currently celebrating the Lilac Festival,” Bello said. ‘It’s been a success so far none the less so it proves we can do festivals, we can have successful events and we can do outdoors events safely.”
“I believe we are in a good place now for festivals to take place. You just have to be creative, and that’s what the organizers are doing here.”