Lawmakers, festival organizers continue to call for less restrictions on carnivals, summer events

Are festivals going to happen this summer?

Late this week Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that he hoped the state would be fully-reopened before July 1, after New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio said that would be the date his city sought to reach.

That said, local organizers are searching for answers as it relates to holding festivals and small carnivals.

Fire companies are often those putting on festivals throughout the summer in small communities. In the Finger Lakes there are plenty of others. That said, a lack of clear guidance from the state- as well as existing guidance that’s too strenuous for local organizers to deal with- has put many events on ice. spoke with some organizers who outlined the challenges. “Everything has to be fenced in, contact tracing, one entrance, one exit,” said Lance Marchese, President of Mendon Fire Department. Plans for their annual event are not finalized. There are also temperature checks and other challenges that arise.

There’s also a 33% capacity restriction for outdoor events, which even Democratic lawmakers in Albany have questioned. “33% capacity for an outdoor activity to me seems arbitrary and I have yet to find a decent reason for why that cap is in place,” Assemblymember Jen Lunsford told She contends that the overall rules around outdoor events like carnivals are simply too complex.

It’s not clear when or if those restrictions will be lifted in time though.

Want the latest headlines in your inbox each morning? Click here to sign up for our Morning Edition and Sunday Insight newsletters. They are dedicated to keeping you in the know. You can also download the App for Android (All Android Devices) or iOS (iPhone, iPad)
Support Local Journalism