September 22, 2020

Letter to the Editor: Is Cancellation of Lyme’s ‘Hamburg Fair’ Perhaps Premature? More Planning, Less Politics, ‘a Dose of Courage’ are Needed

Updated with new comment May 17:

To the Editor:

I can understand cancelling a major commercial event 100 days out.  Vendor contracts, insurance, etc. are complicated expensive things requiring major financial commitments months in advance.  The Hamburg Fair is 100+ days away, is this really the time to cancel an event that is managed by able and fabulous local volunteers?

Who doesn’t believe in safety first?  Some people don’t, we see them in the news taunting politicians demanding zero safety buffer in terms of distance and masks for example.  Obviously that’s the wrong approach in an airborne virus.  We all have been bench testing the tried and true distancing, mask and gloves method when we shop for the basics and mail things at the post office and it works.

There is extremism on the other end of the safety argument too.  I am saddened and frustrated that our local politicians aren’t rising to the challenge of this horrible virus and figuring out proven ways (thank you post office and grocery stores) to try to bring some semblance of our previous lives incrementally back.

At some point as the virus wears down, which it is, it will be more dangerous to drive to the Hamburg Fair than to attend it.  I challenge our local brain trust to work harder at opening up some non-unsafe, easily manageable human interaction services such as recycling, burn permits, and other low hanging fruit services to demonstrate to the populace that there is a light at the end of this virus tunnel.  Better planning, less political thinking and a dose of courage are the tools out of this nightmare.


Andrew Gibson,



  1. I applaud you, Mr. Gibson. Our politicians should acknowledge that by now we have learned about the contagion of this disease, and that we are not stupid. If we can be trusted to be citizens in a democracy, we should be smart enough by now to know whether or not we should attend the Fair or stay home, rather than have it banned.

    • Ronald Milardo says

      Mr Gibson, well done and I agree that the show must go on! We are all certainly aware of the risks and certainly do not need to be told what we can and can not do by our elected officials. The Fair is months away and the practice of social distancing thus far in our area has worked brilliantly, and we have been confined to our homes for the most part. Considering the warmer climates and the number of reported cases, we should see less of this virus in our area in the coming months.

  2. Bravo, Andrew Gibson. The voice of reason. If people simply wore masks whenever they’re in close proximity to others, it would help Lyme reopen in various stages. It shouldn’t be an all or nothing proposition. As to the Hamburg Fair….let it happen. It is still a 100 days away and something this town can look forward to as a positive sign of life returning to “normal.” Why pull the plug in May when it could be a “wait and see decision” as to whether there are still potential risks involved in August?

  3. Andrew Gibson says

    I received an email yesterday from the Town Selectman. Lyme is opening a good deal of its services soon using State guidelines. That is a very good thing and I thank the Lyme officials and employees in this critical step. Bravo.

    Back to the Hamburg Fair opening, hopefully the Hamburg Fair committee has the wisdom, based on recent announcements at opening services incrementally, to re-think their decision. Mr Hine is correct, face masks and social distancing, we get it, and we can deal… no problem, we are New Englanders for heavens sake…; ).

    If not, perhaps our local vegetable, fruit and flower growers could hold a separate judging in an alternate location. At the end of the contest, disburse the bounty to those who aren’t as fortunate. Think “Farmers Market”, except there is no payment, just smiles and Goodwill.

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