Ag Fair selling tickets online, requiring masks

You'll need tickets and masks when you go to the Ag Fair. — Gabrielle Mannino

The Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society is selling tickets online ahead of the 159th annual Agricultural Fair, due to public health concerns.

The fair begins on Thursday, August 19, and runs through August 22. Masks will also be required during the fair. 

“Masks will be required in the hall, barn, and in all tents. The Society is also asking anyone not vaccinated to wear a mask on the fairgrounds. At this time the Society does not plan on limiting attendance; however, should we receive further guidance from the board of health, we will make adjustments to our capacity limit,” the release states.

Visit for more information.


      • Proof of vaccination is common sense.

        It has nothing to do with politics.

        Especially when it comes to a private organization like the MVAS.

      • Vaccine requirements have been in place for over a century in our country. Smallpox was eliminated because of the vaccine, not herd immunity or a healthy immune system. Measles, mumps, and whooping cough were brought back by antivaxers who weaseled out of their kids’ school and camp requirements for “religious” reasons. Hospitals, nursing homes, many colleges, big employers, restaurants, gyms, theaters, etc are requiring covid vaccines now. If you don’t like it, stay home or move to the woods where you won’t be offended by keeping people safe from infectious diseases.

      • I Remember When America Was Great.
        I had to show that I had three different vaccines to enter the US.
        As a US citizen!
        No yellow public health immunization card – no entry.
        Bill needs a better understanding of the differences, and similarities, of Democracy and Communism.

      • Dear Bill, it is obvious that you have not lived under communism!
        There are times when the community is more important than the individual…..or I should say, the individuals are the community.
        This is NOT a political issue!!! It is a health issue!! Get on board… stay alive!!

  1. The Ag Society has announced no limits (so far) on crowds. Masks are required only in the indoor areas, (exhibition hall, tents and barn). The outdoor fairgrounds have no requirements for vaxed, but unvaxed, including children, are “asked” to wear a mask. No proof of anything is required. You can avoid crowded lines for entry and rides by purchasing tix online, but there will still be lines without social distancing required. Food lines, always crowded, have no system that has been announced, nor is there any protocol about sitting at tables and eating, obviously with masks off, vaxed or not. People crowd together at the different events, and no announcement of covid precautions there either. Maybe some of these safety protocols will take place, but so far, the “waiting for further guidelines” has the Ag Society seeming helpless and, frankly, recklessly planning a health crisis.

    We all know that refusenik antivaxers are also mostly anti-mask as well— “face diapers” and “muzzles” are not for them. If refuseniks cared about other people and took the virus seriously, they’d have been vaxed months ago, so there is little hope they can be trusted to wear masks in the outdoor crowds. They will walk around talking, laughing, breathing, coughing, and spreading the aerosol that has no chance of being contained by a mask they will not wear. Masks block MOST of the aerosol from talking and breathing, so it reduces the chance of transmission significantly— but not absolutely. Mandated masks for all at all times at the Fair would be better for everyone, and the very least the Ag Society should do for an event that should have been way scaled down, if held at all in person.

    In 2018, 38,218 people visited the Ag Fair during 3 1/2 days. That’s a lot more than Obama’s 150 party attendees. It’s a lot more than the original 750 invited Obama guests, too. I don’t have the numbers for the 2019 Ag Fair, and last year the fair was cancelled due to covid.

    Lets hear from those who cared about a gathering of people at the Obamas, enough to comment with outrage and negativity. What’s weird is that virtually all the reasons why folks wanted the Obama party to be cancelled could be applied to the Ag Fair, which has the potential to be the largest super spreader event the island has seen.

    Also, this headline is misleading about masks. Mask are only required in indoor spaces, and not in the outside crowds.

    Cue the “stay home if you’re concerned” comments. Not to worry, you could not pay me to go to the Fair this year, even though, aside from last year, I’ve not missed one in decades, am a lifetime member of the Ag Society, and even designed a Fair poster some years back. If you’re as against the Fair proceeding mostly as business-as-usual as you were about the Obama gathering, my hat is off to you.

    Here are the commenters who spoke out against the Obama’s holding a gathering. I hope they will take a moment and comment on an island gathering of tens of thousands, as opposed to a a couple of hundred people that inspired them to speak so negatively:

    Bob Murphy
    Mary Pritchard
    Ron Sims
    Andrew Engelman (repeatedly)
    Tom Braun
    Barbara Kassel
    Cynthia M Lamay
    Virgil Stairwell
    Mike Ack
    Jerry Fagan
    Teri Rinaldi
    E J MacLeod
    Ron Sims
    Katie Lane
    Clarence Barnes
    Sheryl Atkisson
    John Axel
    Katherine Scott
    Linda Butler (Not sure if Linda and Katherine were against the Obama party, or if they’re simply against me saying something at any time about anything)
    Vince Gobel
    R Scott Patterson
    Kay Columbo
    Jo Press
    Portia Smith
    Harland John Gibbs

    • Do you have anything to do besides comment on every single MV times article? Everyday it’s the same old virtue signaling sob story. It’s getting old Jaqueline.

      WE GET IT, you think everything should be shut down until not a single COVID particle is left in the air.

      Please for the love of God just stop.

      • PS. If you, Ms. M-D, are a scientist such as a virologist or an epidemiologist or an MD licensed to practice medicine, please do indicate your credentials in this space.

      • Bill some people have virtue, some do not.
        Some people think that Covid has killed too many people, some do not.

    • You have to be kidding me. You’re taking down names now? I just implicitly but strongly agreed with your suggestions under another article about how there should be strict rules for the Fair, seeing as I do not believe for a second they will cancel it. Better yet, I said that people should take responsibility voluntarily and do the right thing to protect everyone, especially the kids. I guess since I did it in a joking manner, because I was extremely tired and sometimes can no longer take the objections seriously, it wasn’t good enough. What is?

      I said two other times that I’m concerned with ALL large gatherings right now, NOT just the Obama party, but you’re cherrypicking comments. You don’t acknowledge that because it wouldn’t fit your agenda. Unlike some here, I see absolutely no problem with the Obamas having a party under normal circumstances. Even with COVID, I imagine it was planned well in advance and they assumed that it would be fine because of vaccines. We all did. It’s just that Delta has made even formerly safe plans risky. Which I have also said.

      My other concern about the party was that because it was being thrown by those who are vocally pro-caution, it could be used to further the belief about this being a hoax. When public perception is everything and the people involved are important, yes, that worries me. But when I read that they cancelled, which was originally reported instead of scaling back, I thought that was a good idea and said so, too.

      That I’m even recounting this is absurd.

      If you’re going to be rude and call people out, you could at least admit to objecting to every COVID gathering but theirs. That’s the real hypocrisy. I’m sure everyone noticed.

      No amount of support or effort for any cause is good enough. It makes posting here not worth it when it becomes solely about attacking commenters over the message and the desired outcome. No one owes you a thing. We all have lives and can contribute whatever time we want to devote to this. I’ve devoted plenty for a year and a half. More than you know. I don’t even read every article or log in every day, so I don’t always say something. My life has been GREATLY impacted by COVID because I can’t receive the vaccine and have severe lung damage. I would not survive if I caught it. You pretend to care about “the vulnerable” and then don’t even consider who you may be talking to or why people may not feel up to every single fight. Trust me, I’m worried enough about crowds.

      You didn’t even give anyone a chance to reply to this article before pouncing, so you can’t criticize. I won’t be saying a further word about the Fair. Not a performing monkey and won’t reinforce the idea that I am. It also won’t do any good. I’ve finally been clueing into that.

      I have no interest in discussing this anymore but trust you’ll find some way to twist things. This was plain wrong and distracts from the goal in my opinion.

      • P.S. The first part of your post with those staggering numbers was great. Yes, that should be more than enough proof that this is extremely dangerous as is and that further restrictions are needed. You should’ve stuck with that impactful message.

        • Katie, I’m sorry. I thought about you since your Obama comments made such sense. I included you here with the hope you would get on board here with coming out against the recklessness of the Fair’s poor covid protocols. I even said my hat is off to those who stand firm on this matter of covid recklessness, whether it’s an Obama’s gathering of a few hundred or the Fair’s. Obviously, I expressed myself poorly.

          I agreed with you and thought Obama’s party was bad form in this environment, but he at least required vaccines or a covid test to get in. I stand firm that’s the least we should expect from the Ag Society and hope you agree. I am sorry I offended you. That was not my intention. But I can see being lumped in would be offensive. Hope you’ll forgive me, Katie.

        • Thank you for the PS, Katie. This is exactly what we need to hear, and like I said, my hat is off to you.

          • Also, Katie, you’re right that I did not give anyone a chance to respond to this Ag Society announcement before being individually confrontational. I was thinking that you alone from that list would respond with the consistent message re covid you’ve always expressed, without an ounce of hypocrisy or political agenda that we’ve come to expect from many others. But you did not deserve that sort of confrontation, or being lumped in like that, especially from me who admires you. In my view, it is often worth drawing out and confronting the hypocrisy and damage we are seeing from others politicizing covid and vaccines, and I do it often at my own expense (see the personal attacks I get). But hurting you in the process is not worth it. If I could remove your name from that list, indeed remove the whole comment to spare you any more undeserved upset over the impact of covid on your life, I would.

          • Thanks, Jackie. I was hesitant to address the Obama event because I had concerns but didn’t want to convey more political negativity. I wrote a few other comments about the party, all minor, and deleted them for this reason. I kept worrying something could be perceived as a dig that wasn’t intended.

            I don’t feel their character should be attacked for planning a happy event in advance. It just ended up being poor timing, especially with the original number of guests. I agree that the precautions in place made it far safer than pre-vaccine gatherings, and certainly safer than the Ag Fair, but the Delta variant has me taking a step back on what constitutes risk in any crowd.

            In my mind, the bigger aspect may be the public’s impression of things, especially with the degree of national news coverage. Crazy stuff. I don’t know that it’s fair the Obamas are left to balance out conspiracy theories—there is plenty of global evidence that should accomplish that—but this pandemic is so polarizing that it became necessary.

            On the other hand, I don’t believe all of the criticism stems from genuine COVID concern. Some is coming from folks who already disliked the Obamas. Though entitled to their opinions, it never helps to drag unrelated gripes into matters of public health. I wish we could shelve those differences and just examine facts. We have to pull in one direction.

            I would’ve commented further on the Ag Fair but only got around to reading this article last night. While I still believe it’s vital to speak up and have appreciated all who do, you included, demoralizing (and dehumanizing) things were said in my personal life recently where COVID is concerned. I’d like to imagine I’m pretty tough, but this hit hard. Left me quiet. It made me question whether words can be effective.

            I honestly had no clue that the Ag Fair brings in so many visitors. We can assume there will be more this year with how packed the Island has been. I’m 100% in favor of strict guidelines, with mandatory masks being a minimum. Otherwise, it’s a Petri dish. This event is huge and my greatest concern of the summer. Overall, the Island has been diligent and fortunate. Sadly, I think that may be working against us in a sense. Some believe that our luck will hold without further smart choices. Only fools push their luck.

            There are countless stories of children, even infants, being hospitalized with COVID lately. I’d ask everyone to seek those out before labeling this hysteria. We have an obligation to keep kids from harm, seeing as they have to live with adult decisions. Most around here have fond childhood memories of August. Let’s imagine if those were spoiled by illness and take some basic precautions. They deserve it. One of the worst emotions is regret.

  2. The Times ran 4 articles about President Obama’s 60th birthday party. Under those articles, the community responded with about 180 comments altogether, the majority negative. Many people commented more than once. The negative comments ignored or dismissed the fact that vaccines or a covid test were required to enter the Obama party.

    These were the descriptions/reasons used by commenters about the Obama party by those who were unhappy with the planned event, even after it was scaled down, and even though it had strict covid safety precautions in place:

    Self-indulgent, narcissistic, reckless, elite, hypocritical, ego-maniacal, rich and famous, spreader event, outrageous, should be cancelled immediately, spreads self-gratification, having large gatherings is not what we should be doing right now, no regard for the suffering masses, Obama is a jerk, incalculable interactions, raging delta variant, huge breakthrough cases, private ride sharing among guests, guests will interact with local islanders bloating our covid numbers, party will change the lives of the neighbors, super-spreader event, disdain for working class, noise, climate endangered piece of property, excess, lonely people have birthday parties, shallow event, carbon footprint concerns, tone deaf, just stupid, will cost democrat votes, don’t care a whit (but keeps posting against it anyway), sweet 16 party, ridiculous, a lot of bass, spotlights, selfish, fame and fortune gone to their head, infantile, start the tracing, thanks Bill and Hillary, why not wait for an older significant age, generates inconvenience on the roads, concern for covid counts, MASSIVE tent, jets flying everywhere, should put an end to covid and climate hysteria, party was maskless.

    These comments about the Obama party could easily apply to the Fair– and there is no proof of vaccination or covid testing required to get into the Fair.

    • You are beyond trying to reason with. If you’re truly this unhappy here I suggest you move off the island. Perhaps to a 1000 acre densely wooded area where no COVID could ever reach you….or where you don’t have cellphone service so you you can stop posting outlandish comments on MV times.

      Your responses have not changed and never will change the course of this Virus. Good luck to you.

  3. Jackie, I forgot to add that I don’t expect you to be aware of my specific COVID circumstances, especially when I avoid including them in posts. That came out wrong because I was initially upset/very caught off guard.
    I just meant that sometimes the reason a person may not be commenting on important topics is that they’re hitting too close to home or maybe feeling spent or depressed. Since we can’t know for sure where someone is coming from, we should cut everyone slack.

    By the same token, I understand many are frustrated from having to engage in these endless talks about masks and vaccines. No hard feelings. Facing resistance of this nature is something I’ve struggled with for years while trying to convince people not to drink and drive. The solution and logic seem so simple, the human cost so grave, and yet some persist in doing only as they please. I find it maddening to witness. Now I’m watching that attitude extend to COVID. Hard to keep hopes high in the face of willfulness, but at least lots are still making a good effort.

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