HIGHER GROUND FAIR AND COVID-19

COVID-19 UPDATE AS OF JULY 30, 2021

We’re very sad to announce that the Higher Ground Fair will have to be postponed for one more year. With the recent rapid rise of active COVID illness in Wyoming, the coronavirus Delta variant now the prevalent strain in the state, the very low vaccination rate here, and the increase in CDC recommendations for mitigation measures against the disease, the fair’s organizers no longer feel confident in our ability to provide a safe, healthy, and diversely welcoming environment for all the exciting components planned for Higher Ground Fair 2021.

 

All exhibitor and vendor fees paid to-date will be refunded. All vendors and exhibitors who were approved for this fair will automatically receive priority approval of the same entries should they want to be included in next year’s fair.

 

Fair staff will be in touch with specialty exhibits, performers, and presenters with whom we’ve been working, with offers for renewed bookings at next year’s fair.

 

Dates for 2022 will be published as soon as possible, with applications opening up between November, 2021 and January, 2022.  

 

The exciting news is that expanded infrastructure, capacity, and diversity of what Higher Ground Fair offers from throughout the Rocky Mountain Region, is already in the works for the coming year. Participants and fairgoers alike can look forward to getting to know who will be shining brightly at Higher Ground ’22, through a coming year of online and streaming interviews, videos, photos and stories.

 

Stay with us! The vision of Higher Ground Fair as a celebration of tradition and innovation in the rural Rocky Mountains is alive and well, eager to share an abundance of food, fun, music, agriculture, animals, folk arts and creative learning throughout the coming months leading to a full, in-person event in Laramie, Wyoming, September, 17 & 18, 2022, to be held at the Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site.

 

To become part of helping the Higher Ground Fair fully return to life, or for more information, contact us at 307.223.4399, info@highergroundfair.org. And check in often for updates at the fair’s website at highergroundfair.org.

As a result of the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in Albany County, Wyoming, and with an abundance of caution, all Laramie-based Feeding Laramie Valley (FLV) and Action Resources International (ARI) staff are back to essential workers only working on-site beginning October 3, 2020 until further notice. The organization’s headquarters building has been closed to general public use since March, and remains closed until further notice. No volunteers or non-essential workers, and no essential workers considered to be in a high risk category, are utilizing the headquarters building until further notice. Full sanitation is practiced throughout every day the building is used as a staging place for its essential health-related services of healthy food preparation and distribution, and deep cleaning of the entire building is done on a regular basis. 

 

COVID-19 UPDATE AS OF OCTOBER 19, 2020

One Laramie-based staff member reported on October 2, 2020 that they had had unavoidable contact with someone who subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. That staff person has not been on-site since learning of that contact, was immediately quarantined and tested. The results of that test were positive, and the individual’s quarantine and isolation remain in effect for a minimum of 14 days from October 2. Only very mild symptoms have been reported in this case.   

 

All ARI-FLV staff members have been tested beginning October 3, 2020 at ARI expense, and are being tested on an ongoing basis. There have only been negative test results to date. As stated above, all ARI-FLV pandemic mitigation policies and procedures as recommended by public health and State officials are being followed or exceeded through ARI-FLV policies, and are being enforced at all times. 

 

THE 5TH HIGHER GROUND FAIR IS BEING POSTPONED – WE HOPE TO CELEBRATE THE 5TH WITH YOU IN 2021!

 

It's with great disappointment that we have decided to cancel the 2020 Higher Ground Fair sponsored by Feeding Laramie Valley and Action Resources International, scheduled for September 19 and 20 in Laramie, Wyoming. 

 

Like most of us, I’ve been reflecting, listening, learning, and struggling with how to think about and respond to the impact of COVID 19. As the founder and executive producer of the Higher Ground Fair, I feel a deep and complex responsibility for listening to recommendations from a broad representation of well-informed, caring individuals and public health experts to inform decisions about Higher Ground Fair’s next celebration.

 

It’s taken time and the exploration of countless possible options for the organizing team to come to the decision that Higher Ground Fair should not occur as we’re coming to know it, on its planned September, 2020 dates. The global pandemic continues to rage, there is no vaccine yet available, and we have not been able to develop a plan of operation through which we would feel confident that the health and safety of everyone involved can be sufficiently protected through an implementation process that could reasonably be in place by September of this year. 

 

Although we will not be gathering in person, we will continue promoting, building relationships, and connecting with our participants and supporters electronically. We will be providing refunds to all participants who have already reserved and paid for a booth, and community members who have already purchased their tickets or submitted entry fees. If you fall into any of these categories and would prefer that we apply your paid fee as credit for the next fair, please email us and let us know before July 15. On that date, we will begin making refunds.

 

Follow us on social media and visit our website www.highergroundfair.org to stay updated on developments for the 5th Higher Ground Fair. If you would like to be involved with planning and implementation, please let us know! For additional information, call 307.223.4399 or email us at info@highergroundfair.org. If you would like to communicate with me directly, feel free to use the email address listed below.

 

Thank you for your interest, guidance, and support of our community-building work. We look forward to seeing you soon.

 

On behalf of all of us at the Higher Ground Fair,

Gayle

gayle@highergroundfair.org