Despite increasing concerns about COVID-19 – the Permian Basin Fair and Expo and Permian Basin International Oil Show – are still scheduled to proceed in September and October, event organizers said on Friday.

Event organizers will strongly encourage attendees to exercise precaution, including wearing face coverings and practicing social distancing.

“The Board has been working hard to make sure we have a safe event,” Permian Basin Fair and Expo Spokeswoman Barbara Magana Robertson said. “The Board is concerned about the new wave of COVID, but it also believes people need to have some fun.”

During a Thursday COVID Zoom call local health experts warned against Odessans participating in large crowd events.

The Permian Basin Fair and Expo is scheduled for Sept. 3-12 at the Ector County Coliseum Fairgrounds.

In addition to encouraging people to wear face coverings, exhibits will be spaced further apart to encourage social distancing, and plenty of hand sanitizer will be available at the event, Magana Robertson said.

This year’s event will also feature a free COVID vaccination booth to encourage attendees to get vaccinated, Magana Robertson said.

The Permian Basin Fair and Expo, which was canceled last year due to COVID concerns, will be celebrating its 45th anniversary. The popular event has awarded more than $1 million in academic scholarships during its existence.

The Permian Basin International Oil Show is scheduled for Oct. 19-21 at the Ector County Coliseum. This year’s show will feature more than 750 oil and gas related companies exhibiting in 1,200 spaces and attracts participants from throughout the world.

COVID safety protocols for the event are still being finalized, according to organizers.