ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said she hopes organizers of large events require the covid vaccine for attendees after the state announced Tuesday the New Mexico State Fair will be checking for proof of vaccination. Officials even mentioned how professional sports teams are starting to announce vaccine mandates for fans.
The state’s new public health order doesn’t require proof of vaccine for any events outside the state fair but the announcement does have sports teams and event organizers thinking about their policies.
The New Mexico State Fair will only be open to visitors who show proof they’re fully vaccinated. “We’re hopeful this decision we’ve made about the state fair will encourage other large venues and events that are coming to follow suit,” said Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham.
The governor is hoping organizers of other large events do the same. “This is just an additional layer of protection for the people of New Mexico,” said Dan Mourning, general manager of the New Mexico State Fair.
Meanwhile, Live Nation says Isleta Amphitheater will also be requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test from fans and artists starting October 4 but not everyone is on board.
State Senator Crystal Diamond (R – Elephant Butte) is now urging the governor to remove the vaccine mandate for children at the state fair so that all 4H and FAA kids can show their animals. “I understand how many parents and young exhibitors refuse to take the vaccination, as they shouldn’t,” said Diamond.
Meanwhile, the plans for other large events are still up in the air. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta won’t have a vaccine mandate as of now. “Balloon Fiesta is reviewing the public health order and so we will have an update as needed within the next couple of weeks,” said Tom Garrity, spokesperson for the Balloon Fiesta.
The University of New Mexico, whose home opener in football is two weeks away, the Albuquerque Isotopes and New Mexico United all say they have no plans as of now to require proof of vaccination for home games. While vaccine mandates could mean smaller crowds at large events, fairgoers say they have no problem with the idea.
The New Mexico State Fair kicks off on September 9. Fairgoers can also claim a medical or religious exception but they’ll have to provide an official letter and show proof of a negative COVID test from the past 48 hours. Meanwhile, officials with Zozobra say they will make an announcement Thursday about requiring proof of vaccination for the burning of old man gloom on September 3.