Organizers of an outdoor car show in Pennsylvania stated on Wednesday that the event would go on regardless of a lawsuit by the state health department seeking to close it for operating in violation of coronavirus restrictions, specifically a rule prohibiting gatherings of more than 250 people.
The sprawling event expects to see 100,000 attendees during four days.
Show organizers referred the state’s coronavirus health order to be “invalid” and said they would “vigorously defend this action” to open their show in court.
The event, named Spring Carlisle, started Wednesday and is set to go through Saturday. But the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) took legal action against Carlisle Events, the organization putting on “one of the largest automotive flea markets in the world and one of the best opportunities to get your hands on all things automotive,” early Wednesday morning. It stated that the group had ignored multiple warnings from the state to not continue with Spring Carlisle after previously this month it asked for a waiver excepting it from the 250-person limit.
But Wednesday night, Carlisle Events declared its intention to continue with Spring Carlisle and defend itself against the lawsuit, which has a hearing set for 11 a.m. Thursday.
“Similar to other large outdoor entertainment venues and amusement parks that have or are scheduled to start under the Green Phase in southcentral Pennsylvania, our approximately 100-acre event facility provides ample space for vendors and patrons to interact in a responsible manner, consistent with the CDC’s social distancing and other COVID-19 guidelines,” Carlisle Events’ statement noted.
But Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine has stated that the huge size of the show, whether outdoors and socially distanced or not, puts the state at risk for an increase in coronavirus cases, potentially putting lives in danger, and must be stopped by a court order.
About 2,234,048 people in the US have been confirmed as being infected with the coronavirus. The virus has killed 120,201 people in the country.