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Chamber plans for Village Fair this summer

By Kevin Elliott

Hopes that the annual Village Fair will return to downtown Birmingham this summer got a boost on Monday, February 22, when city commissioners unanimously approved a permit for the event.

The Birmingham-Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce (BBCC) has held the Village Fair for more than 65 years, but was forced to cancel the event in 2020 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The fair, which serves as the chamber’s largest fundraiser, includes four days of carnival rides, games, festival food and activities. Ultimately, the lack of an operational plan from the fair operator in relation to coronavirus led the commission to cancel the event. 

Joe Bauman, chamber president, said plans to hold the fair this summer are moving forward, but there are still many unknown factors as to whether the event will be allowed and at what scale. While planned for the first week of June 2021, he said the organization has some flexibility in the dates to allow it to be held later. 

“We believe the Oakland County Health Department will have some input on the size of gatherings in Oakland County, as well as the state of Michigan. We will follow whatever guidelines are put in to place by the city, county or state,” Bauman said. “For our own planning purposes, we wanted to get on the agenda when we did so if there were some specific questions that needed to be addressed that we would have plenty of time to address those until we got to a critical point as to whether we could hold the fair or not.”

City commissioner Rackeline Hoff recommended giving conditional approval for the fair, which would ultimately rest with the county and state guidelines that have yet to be determined. 

Commissioners unanimously approved the permit on the condition that it is held within any state or county restrictions.


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