Changes to state restrictions move Ann Arbor, Wyandotte art fairs to resume plans

Amelia Benavides-Colón
The Detroit News

Ann Arbor — The Ann Arbor State Street Fair has resumed plans to hold its July event after they were canceled earlier this month due to restrictions to stem COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's announcement last week with plans to lift restrictions on outdoor venues as of July 1 spurred organizers to reconsider.

"After careful consideration and consultation with the City of Ann Arbor and others, we have decided to officially rescind our cancellation," organizers said on the fair's website.

The Ann Arbor State Street Fair has a long tradition as part of the collective Ann Arbor Art Fair, which also includes the Ann Arbor Original Fair and the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair. Last year's event was canceled due to the pandemic. The other two fairs, typically held simultaneously with the State Street Fair, have not announced any changes to their earlier cancellations.

One change for this year is that the fair will be a three-day event instead of four. It is located in Ann Arbor's State Street District and will run from July 15-17. The fair will run from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday.

Organizers of the event have been in contact with the Washtenaw County Health Department in order to make the event safe for those attending.

"We will also continue to have the tents distanced, up to 10 feet apart. We will also be discouraging large groups from gathering in one location," said producer of the event Frances Todoro-Hargreaves. "We do not have any plans for live music or any hands-on activities at this time."

More details will be announced soon.

The Ann Arbor fair's move prompted the city of Wyandotte to reinstate plans for the Wyandotte Street Art Fair, a tradition since 1961 that brings art and culture to the Downriver community in a four-day event.

The event stretches across the entire downtown Wyandotte area and will be held July 7-10. 

The plans are to have the event as normal as possible, said special events coordinator Heather Thiede-Champlin. "We will have our artists, crafters, merchants, food and many groups along Biddle Avenue and down our side streets," she said.

Some things are required to change such as the removal of the large entertainment area and Riverfront beverage area, although things will be set up in its place, said Thiede-Champlin.

"Instead, we will have acoustic music along the footprint of the fair and allow our social district to be active during the events. This will allow patrons of the event to walk the fair with alcoholic beverages from the bars and restaurants within the guidelines of the district," said Thiede-Champlin.

More details can be found on their website.