FARGO — The 45th annual Downtown Fargo Street Fair has been postponed to Thursday, Aug. 13, through Saturday, Aug. 15.

Organizers have contacted street fair vendors and are working to determine if there are enough available on the new dates to hold an event, the Downtown Community Partnership said in a news release Friday, May 22.

The partnership's board made the decision after considering Gov. Doug Burgum's North Dakota Smart Restart protocols for large gatherings meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

"We do not make this decision lightly," said Melissa Brandt, president and CEO of the DCP. "We're all hungry for community togetherness. We are taking this step with great hope that the risk level from the COVID-19 virus lessens over the next couple months. Our organization relies heavily on this event, as do many of our locally-owned businesses downtown."

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Brandt recently assembled a Downtown Street Fair Task Force, which is charged with prioritizing public health and safety planning for the event. The group includes members from Fargo Cass Public Health, the Fargo fire and police departments, vendors and business owners.

"We are optimistic that rescheduling the Downtown Fargo Street Fair gives us more time to make adjustments to accommodate public health guidelines," said DCP Board Chair Mike Erickson.

The Downtown Fargo Street Fair has occurred annually since its inception in 1975. This year's fair was originally scheduled for July 16 - 18.