Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Thu, Sept. 23

Central Navajo Fair to be held virtually
Navajo Nation Fairs cancel or move to virtual events as COVID-19 concerns continue

Dancers and vendors from across the Navajo and Hopi nations celebrate the Western Navajo Nation Fair with family and friends in 2017 in Tuba City, Arizona. The 2021 Western Navajo Fair was cancelled because of COVID-19 concerns. The Central Navajo Fair will host virtual events Aug. 23-28. (Loretta McKenney/NHO)

Dancers and vendors from across the Navajo and Hopi nations celebrate the Western Navajo Nation Fair with family and friends in 2017 in Tuba City, Arizona. The 2021 Western Navajo Fair was cancelled because of COVID-19 concerns. The Central Navajo Fair will host virtual events Aug. 23-28. (Loretta McKenney/NHO)

TUBA CITY, Ariz. — With COVID-19 precautions in mind, fairs across the Navajo Nation have cancelled or decided to hold virtual events.

On July 23, the 35th annual Central Navajo Fair announced it will host its events virtually.

Events will take place Aug. 23-28 and include a virtual baby contest, pageants for Central Agency Royalties, pow-wow and song and dance, dog show, Electric Desert EDM concert, clan vs. clan scavenger hunt, Navajo family feud and more.

The Western Navajo Fair announced its cancellation June 16.

“Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there is no feasible way for the Western Navajo Fair to put proper precautions in place while maintaining the fair ambiance you know and love,” said Fair Manager Mike Sixkiller. “We would like to thank our event coordinators for their support in our decision.”

The Western Fair is one of four fairs held on the Navajo Nation, along with the Navajo Nation Fair held in Window Rock, Arizona.

According to a recent article in the Navajo Times, the Navajo Nation Fair has no plans for a 2021 fair.

The Navajo Nation Fair, which lasts seven days and kicks off after the Labor Day weekend, is the largest American Indian Fair and Rodeo within the Southwest United States, with a daily average attendance of 15,000 visitors.

The Northern Navajo Nation Fair has not announced its plans as of July 26.

On Jan. 28, the Eastern Navajo Fair Board unanimously voted to cancel the Eastern Navajo Fair, scheduled for July 22-25.

COVID-19 concerns on the Nation

As of July 25, the Navajo Nation reported six new COVID-19 positive cases and four more deaths. The total number of deaths on the Navajo reservation is now 1,372.

“We know what we have to do to protect ourselves from COVID-19 and the Delta variant. Our health experts have told us repeatedly to get fully vaccinated and to keep wearing masks, but it is ultimately the choices that we make that will make the difference. Please listen to our public health experts and keep your guard up. We are in this together and we will overcome,” said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez.

Health care facilities across the Navajo Nation continue to administer COVID-19 vaccines during drive-thru events or by appointment. Those who would like to receive the vaccine, can contact their health care provider for more information.

“We have to meet our prayers half way by continuing to take precautions and adhere to the guidance of our public health experts. Thank you to all of the men and women on the frontlines every day, who continue to sacrifice so much for us all. Please keep taking safety measures and keep praying for our Nation,” said Vice President Myron Lizer.

More information about the Central Agency Navajo Fair’s virtual event is available from Alessandra Uentillie at (928) 751-8802 or on the Central Agency Navajo Fair Facebook page.

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