The Bayonne ham fair, which has taken place every year in the city of the same name since 1462, is canceled for 2020 due to the Covid-19 epidemic.
The 558th edition of this fair, which was initially scheduled to take place in April, was initially postponed to October. But " all the players in the ham sector (...) considered that it was not reasonable to imagine organizing a fair of this magnitude in October ", reported on Saturday. mayor on France Bleu Pays basque.
“ There is too much risk because the organization of the ham fair is done inside a marquee, people are 'touch touches', everyone is on top of each other, the tasting is at the very basis of what the ham fair is ”, explained the mayor, not wanting to“ create cluster situations ”, while the fair usually welcomes 200,000 people in four days.
According to Jean-René Etchegaray, in " 500 years that this ham fair has existed, I think it has always existed ". In fact, it has already been canceled once during the Occupation of World War II. This tradition, born in 1462, traditionally takes place during Holy Week. " It took a royal decision so that here, in the Basque Country, in Bayonne, a demonstration could take place when it was against religious rules ", explained the mayor.