Considering the ongoing battle with the coronavirus pandemic, it comes as little surprise that the September 8-13 Brimfield (Massachusetts) Antique Flea Market has been cancelled.
"We are very sorry to announce that due to circumstances beyond our control, the Brimfield Flea Markets will be closed" for the September event, Brimfield organizers posted on their website. "We will post updates for all future events as they become available. Please stay safe and healthy."
Brimfield has set the following dates for its three events in 2021: May 11-16; July 13-18; and September 7-12.
With 5,000 dealers stretched over 21 fields along one mile of Route 20 in Brimfield, the annual flea markets are believed to be the largest outdoor antiques shows in the country.
The outbreak of COVID-19 led to the cancellation of this year's May and July Flea Markets. In response to a concerning uptick in Massachusetts COVID-19 cases, Governor Charlie Baker announced a series of steps intended to curb the virus’s spread, all of which went into effect Tuesday, August 11.
In addition to masks being required, indoors or outdoors, when individuals cannot maintain at least 6 feet of physical distancing, the new order reduced the limit on outdoor gatherings from a maximum of 100 people to 50 people in a single space. For smaller areas, a limit of 25 percent of the area’s legal maximum occupancy, or eight people per 1,000 square feet, may also apply.
The new order also states that at any indoor or outdoor gathering where individuals cannot maintain 6 feet of social distance will be in violation of the new rules, no matter the number of participants.
The Massachusetts Department of Public health, local boards of health, and now state and municipal police are authorized to enforce the new order. Violations can result in a fine up to $500 per violation, or a cease and desist order.
According to Baker, the new rules will remain in effect until rescinded, or when the state of emergency ends — whichever comes first.
As of August 11, Massachusetts had 112,969 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 8,529 confirmed deaths.