Postponement of the Oct.1 Pate Swap Meet
Due to the crowd-size restriction imposed by the State of Texas not being lifted in time, October 1st through the 3rd dates for Pate Swap Meet has been postponed but we will return at our regular time in April of 2021.
We deeply regret the need for this action but the health and safety of our visitors, vendors and volunteers must come first.
When the initial government restrictions were imposed and forced the postponement of the Pate Swap Meet from March to October, we had good reason to believe that we could conduct a safe swap meet in October. We had made our plans to cope with the threat of COVID-19 and still have a safe event. The re-opening rules put in place during the early spring and summer initially gave us a lot of hope for a successful event. Unfortunately, the spike in COVID-19 cases that started in mid-June and peaked in mid-July threw a wrench into our plans. During this spike, crowd-size restrictions were temporarily reimposed on entire the State of Texas in the Governor's revised plans to open the state. While the health statistics in Texas have greatly improved for the last month and are continuing to do so, the numbers haven't dropped fast enough or to a level that has convinced the Governor of Texas to lift the restrictions yet.
We talked with officials from the Texas Motor Speedway several days ago and were informed that, due to the restrictions not being lifted or relaxed, the Speedway was forced to cancel all outdoor activities being held at the Speedway for the entire month of September. Not just us, everything that was not classified as a sporting event was canceled. This was a decision driven by the Speedway's attorneys, their interpretation of the Emergency Orders from the State of Texas and their desire to avoid liability for the Speedway. The decision was outside the control of the Speedway's staff and us. As our "landlord" and owners of the property, they have the right to cancel events within the context of the Emergency Orders. While we're disappointed by the results, we understand their position and fully support our colleagues at the Speedway.
The currently-in-force restrictions limit gatherings to ten people or less and that means that our set-up volunteer crews could not begin their usual set up during the last seven days in September as we needed in order to be ready for the Pate Swap Meet on October 1st. Further, in order to hold the event starting on October 1st, we have to make firm contractual commitments to the Speedway and our suppliers by September 1st and begin the distribution of Vendor Packets. Unfortunately, we face the immediate deadline and were therefore forced to postpone.
For reference, we were expecting over 200,000 people to attend the Pate Swap Meet during its run and needed a much higher number than ten people at a time to make a successful event.
Although the health statistics in Texas continue to improve (see the charts below) we DO NOT envision the Governor of Texas lifting or relaxing these restrictions by our September 1st deadlines or even in the coming weeks in time for us to hold the swap meet in October. The State of Texas is not stating publically when the 10-person limit will be lifted and it can easily exist well into October or longer. This forces us to postpone our first of October event.
However, the Pate Swap Meet will return at our regular April dates in 2021. The next Pate Swap Meet will be April 29, 2021, through May 1, 2021. The move-in and set-up date for Pate Vendors will be Wednesday, April 28, 2021.
Pate Vendors currently holding space orders for the October event may rollover their spaces to the April Pate Swap Meet. Please let us know your intentions by completing the form below.
Any Pate Vendor who wishes to cancel their spaces orders will receive a refund. If you wish to cancel your space order, please complete the form above PLUS call our Registrar, Ms. Gail Moore, at (713) 649-0922 to confirm your cancellation and make final arrangements.
We are deeply sorry for any inconvenience this postponement may cause.
September 7, 2020 Update
As expected, today, September 7th the Governor of the State of Texas extended his Disaster Declaration for all Texas counties in response to COVID-19 originally issued on March 13, 2020.
"Renewing this Disaster Declaration helps ensure that we have the resources and strategies in place to help communities across Texas respond to COVID-19," said Governor Abbott. "I urge Texans to take precautionary steps to protect their health by wearing a mask, social distancing, and sanitizing their hands. Working together, we will slow the spread and keep our communities safe.”
Today's extension of the Disaster Declaration merely maintains the status quo so nothing changes. It also maintains his legal authority through the Declaration over certain aspects of local governments in their local regulations. Last week, Governor Abbott hinted that there might be some loosening of restrictions coming this week but it is NOT anticipated that the anticipated loosenings will be very far-reaching or go much further than allowing a limited number of additional patrons into bars and restaurants. We'll see and report it here if and when it happens.
Current COVID-19 Statistics for Texas
Update Note: All of the charts below have been updated to show data as of the afternoon of September 15, 2020.
Governor Greg Abbott Press Conference
Texas Governor Greg Abbott will give an update on the coronavirus pandemic in Texas at noon on Thursday, September 17th. Watch it live here courtesy of KXAN-TV in Austin.
Update: 12:40 pm: The press conference has ended and the live stream has stopped. The replay will be shown when available.