Salinas Valley Fairgrounds in King City (Photo via SVF Facebook page)

KING CITY — Salinas Valley Fairgrounds remains in a modified state of operation as Covid-19 pandemic health guidelines continue to restrict the types of activities that can be carried out in public settings. 

The upcoming in-person Livestock Grading Show and Online Auction are being planned for May, as organizers try to figure out alternatives to the rest of the 2021 Salinas Valley Fair.

Interim CEO Lauren Hamilton said the fairgrounds hosts weekly flea markets on Sundays.

“Unless it’s raining or for any reason we can’t hold it, it’s open,” Hamilton said.

While the outdoor flea market takes place, the usual rental of buildings at the fairgrounds for events and parties does not. 

Hamilton confirmed the fairgrounds is shut down for events per health guidelines.

Other restrictions, such as those against having food vendors on site, continue to change how the fairgrounds operates. 

The carnival fair food pop-up events, which happened last summer, are not in the works for 2021, Hamilton said. Similarly, any alternatives to the fair likely won’t include food.

The fairgrounds, however, found success with its drive-in movie evenings in late 2020.

“We did our movies last year, which was super cool and everybody really enjoyed it,” Hamilton said. “So we should be meeting again and discussing when we’ll be bringing all that back.”

As for the possibility of other types of activities, Hamilton said those are a possibility.

“We are in the midst of planning stuff at the moment, but nothing is set in stone right now,” she said. “We don’t have anything scheduled on our books yet, as we’re trying to work around the health department and their guidelines.”

Annual fair plans are also underway.

“We’re trying to figure out what it’s going to look like during fair week,” Hamilton said. “We can’t have a fair, but we’re trying to put something together. We’re trying to figure all the logistics out to putting that on.”

The fairgrounds, located in King City, continues to be a center for community relief, as the weekly food distributions by Food Bank for Monterey County continue on Wednesdays.

“Every Wednesday, rain or shine, they’re here,” Hamilton said about the reliability of food bank operations.

In the past, the fairgrounds site has acted as an emergency center, such as being a staging ground for firefighters battling area wildfires. 

According to Monterey County officials, the site also has been identified as one of several that could potentially be used for mass Covid-19 vaccination clinics when increased vaccine supply becomes available.

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Sean Roney is a freelance reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.


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