Permit problems cancel large Juneteenth celebration in Altamont

Albany County

ALTAMONT, N.Y. (AP) — A large-scale Juneteenth celebration scheduled for June 19 and 20 at the Altamont Fairgrounds has been canceled over a lack of permits.

The Altamont Fair Board of Directors cancelled the Third-Party Juneteenth Music, Food, Arts & Crafts Festival on Friday with the announcement below:

As a community venue for over 100 years, the Altamont Fairground prioritizes protecting the health and safety of all guests attending events. We were looking forward to the commemorative Juneteenth community event as one of the first gatherings since COVID. However, multiple permit requirements were not completed or issued to operate a two-day event with health and safety precautions. Unfortunately, this event is now canceled. 

The event commemorating the end of slavery was to have taken place on June 19 and 20 at the Altamont Fairgrounds. The facility’s board of directors told the Times-Union that multiple permits regarding health and safety precautions weren’t completed or issued.

Event organizer Greg Kornegay told the newspaper he had secured a permit from the county health department, insurance, a COVID-19 guidance plan, security, and safety protocols.

Kornegay said he’d suggested setting crowd capacity lower to avoid having to issue a permit for a large gathering, but that fairgrounds representatives had stopped returning his messages Friday. He said he had sold about 1,000 tickets and would refund the money if he was unable to find a new location.

Kornegay said Chicago-based Lil Durk was to have headlined on Sunday and Busta Rhymes was scheduled to perform Saturday.

“It was going to be historic,” Kornegay said. “For them to go ahead and push the button and cancel it rather than work with us, I feel slighted here.”

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