Selectmen: ‘unwise’ to allow ‘influx of thousands’ into town amid COVID-19

📸 Ryan Servant file photo for The Citizen Chronicle.

BRIMFIELD — As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rapidly climb, local officials have cancelled the May edition of what is billed as America’s oldest outdoor antiques flea market.

The Brimfield Antique Flea Market’s first run of the year has been taken off the calendar by local officials due to concerns over the continued spread of coronavirus across the region, state, country, and globe. Typically a thrice-annual event that runs in May, July, and September, the world famous Brimfield Fleas will not take place in May this year.

Paul McCarthy, chairman of the Brimfield Board of Selectmen, said in a statement the decision to cancel the May edition came “with a heavy heart,” but was necessary as selectmen decided permitting the event “would be contrary to the public good.”

Local officials had previously indicated a decision on the fate of the first run of the flea market, which had been scheduled for May 12-17, would wait until mid-April. The rapid growth of COVID-19, however, forced the hand of selectmen.

“It would be unwise to even consider allowing the influx of thousands of individuals from areas outside of this region,” McCarthy said in a statement. “Though the situation may hopefully improve by that time, we cannot foresee the level of improvement as of April 15th being substantial enough to lift the Orders limiting public gatherings to a level that would allow such a populous event. The Select Board saw no reason to delay this decision.”

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