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4th Ave Spring Street Fair canceled in person and virtually

Updated: Jan. 19, 2021 at 10:29 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The third time is not a charm. The 2021 4th Avenue Spring Street Fair has been canceled again due to COVID-19.

The Forth Avenue Merchants Association made the announcement on Tuesday, Jan. 19th. This is the third time the street fairs have been canceled. It started with the Spring Street Fair in 2020; then the announcement came in October 2020, cancelling the Winter Street Fair.

“It’s devastating but not unexpected,” said Daniel Matlick, President of the 4th Avenue Merchants Association. “We’re an event that has 150-250,000 people over three days. The current ordinance is no more than 50 people in a gathering, so to even remotely try to reduce it down here, it’s just wouldn’t work.”

99% of the association’s revenue comes from the fairs, so the three cancellations have taken away from their funds to maintain the avenue and pay their staff.

The cutbacks have even cost them the staff needed to put on a virtual fair, like last spring and winter.

“We definitely need to get some grants or some public support so that we can continue to maintain this area and help other small businesses survive and thrive,” said Matlick.

Small businesses like the Rustic Candle Company on 4th Ave. Owner Monica Cota has been a vendor in the fairs since 2002, and missing both fairs last year took its toll.

“The spring one in the beginning of the season really helps gear up the monetary cash flow for the rest of the year. And then the winter one at the end of the year is really a nice plus,” said Cota.

The Rustic Candle Co. switched their focus to delivery and to-go orders to sell off the stock that would have sold at the fairs. And this year, they played it safe.

“We were a little gun shy in our spending and we’re trying to shop smart and be smart and hunker down,” said Cota.

It’s left the hundreds of vendors to wait it out, hoping that relief will come in the winter.

“Will be back in the winter with a vengeance and I’m sure we’re gonna have a great event,” said Matlick.

Since there won’t be a virtual storefront they ask the community to continue to support the local businesses however they can.

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