WNY event organizers navigating new public gathering restrictions

Local News

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)– Starting in a couple of weeks, if you have a gathering even at a public park, you can have up to 200 people without being tested in advance, as long as people social distance and wear masks. That is the latest positive sign as Spring and Summer approach.

But even the current numbers are enough for planners of Springtime in the Country to announce they will have the event on the Hamburg Fairgrounds later than usual. It will run on Memorial Day weekend and might be mostly outdoors instead of indoors.

Dan Kaczynski of Premier Promotions of WNY said, “We’re also hopeful that Memorial Day weekend, we have a better chance of having better weather.

Effective March 22, backyard parties can host up to 25 people, but in more public places up to 200 people are allowed outdoors and if they’re tested first up to 500 is allowed at outdoor events. So in the case of the Fairgrounds, there is plenty of outdoor space.

“And because this is a three-day event and it’s stretched out from ten to five and then ten to four, we have enough time there where we can bring people in and I would assume most people would spend 2 to 3 hours at the event and so then you could move people out, move people in and absolutely that would be something we would explore,” said Kaczynski.

The new numbers also open up the possibility that some of the weddings booked at The Annex in Chaffee can become “outdoor” weddings with up to 500 guests.

Samantha Armstrong of The Annex told us, “We’re on 26 acres so we can tent, we can have people spreading out over all 26 acres, so we’re really comfortable with that number and we’re excited for the challenge you know, see how we can evolve within our own new business.”

Back to the Hamburg Fairgrounds Springtime in the Country will represent the first event there in over a year, and I’m people are wondering what about the fair itself.

Fair officials tell me it’s simply too early to know one way or another if there will be an Erie County Fair this year.

George Richert is an award-winning reporter who first joined the News 4 team in 1998, later returning in 2018. See more of his work here.

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