POCATELLO — The promoter of the Spring Fair home and garden showcase in Southeast Idaho says that the annual event has been canceled for this year.
Bob Bloxham, longtime event sponsor and Raven Productions co-owner with Kate DeLate, says he couldn’t get approval to hold the popular event from the Idaho State University Health Committee.
The event, which typically attracts thousands of people, was slated for ISU’s Holt Arena in Pocatello on May 20 to 22.
The ISU Health Committee explained its decision in an email, saying it acted after additional review and consultation with internal ISU stakeholders.
“This decision has likewise been informed with input from the Southeastern Idaho Public Health Department,” the email said.
And the committee said an event of this magnitude could be problematic.
“Under your current proposed conditions the risk of viral spread at an indoor event of this size is concerning,” the email said.
It notes that great strides have been made in recent weeks in state vaccination efforts and in the area.
But ISU continues to move forward with great care to ensure the ongoing health and safety of the community, according to the committee.
“As an institution we are also adhering to more conservative measures particularly with respect to large indoor events,” it said.
Further, Idaho is still in Stage 3 of the state Rebound Plan, which currently limits gatherings to 50 or fewer people with the exception of educational activities.
Bloxham says he was disappointed with the decision.
“But we certainly understand their reasons with the COVID-19 situation in Southeast Idaho,” he said.
Bloxham said he had hopes it might be approved since some other events in Idaho had previously gotten approval.
“It’s just the fact that so many other things are going on that are being allowed,” he said.
But he says he will continue moving forward with the Spring Fair next year and has reserved the dates of March 24, 25 and 26, 2022, at Holt Arena.
Still the cancellation this year will mean a loss of revenue for motels, gas stations and other businesses.
“Everybody’s got a little piece of the pie so to speak,” Bloxham said.
But things will roll over to next year so vendors won’t be losing anything, he said.
And once everybody gets vaccinated that should help things get closer to normal.
Plus, he says that the vendors are sticking with them.
“We lost one vendor in all out of almost 200,” Bloxham said. “We felt pretty good about that.”
And the event currently only has three open spots for vendors. He hopes to fill them.
“I think that the vendors realize what a great marketing experience it is for them to have this number of people show up,” Bloxham said.
Further he believes people will feel more ready to get out to events next year, and there will be plenty to see at the Spring Fair.
In addition to hot tubs, car and truck accessories, ATVs, artwork, cookware, clothing and jewelry, the Spring Fair features more home improvement ideas and products every year, according to Bloxham.
And the Spring Fair provides landscape ideas, lawn and garden equipment, and expert advice on maintenance.
Overall, Bloxham believes that everything needed for a home next year will be centrally located and available under one roof at Holt Arena.
And there will be a host of other interesting items and offerings that those attending the Spring Fair have come to expect.
“We are coming back bigger and better,” Bloxham said.