In a somber meeting of the Town of Fairplay Board of Trustees Monday night, all parties involved agreed that a long list of annual summer events would have to be cancelled in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The economic ramifications of the decision to cancel the always-profitable events were not taken lightly, and Town Administrator Tina Darrah did not mince words in describing those ramifications.

“We are really going to be in trouble,” Darrah said. “But we are seeing cancellations throughout the state, and the staff recommends it best to cancel all town-owned events that occur this summer.”

Mayor Frank Just agreed with Darrah’s assessment, as did trustees Eve Stapp, Scott Dodge, Cindy Bear and Paul Kemp.

“It has been a long and arduous path to making this decision, and many individuals have explored every opportunity, and every angle, to avoid the cancellation of these events,” Just said in an interview Tuesday.

But typical of Just, as well as other Town of Fairplay administrators who have demonstrated an uncanny knack over the years for conceptualizing and executing festive events, a hint was given Tuesday that a silver lining might be in the making once the coronavirus threat subsides.

“No specifics are available yet, but once this is over, we’re going to throw one hell of a party here in Fairplay,” said Just.

Cancelled summer events include, but are not limited to, Burro Days, Independence Day Celebration, TGIFairplay Free Summer Concerts, the Fairplay Rock, Gem & Jewelry Show, Bayou Salado Mountain Man Rendezvous, Fairplay’s Wearable Art Fest and South Park City Living History Days.

In the mayor’s comments portion of the meeting, Just turned his attention to businesses that have remained open throughout the pandemic.

“It’s very important that we show our appreciation for businesses that have stayed open because they have suffered quite a bit, and many of them have remained open as a means of serving the community. I have visited many of them lately, and remarkably, they are staying as upbeat as possible through it all.”

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