The Country Fair Entertainment Park in Medford has closed permanently.
The announcement was made public Wednesday after employees learned Tuesday that the park, which has been in its current location for 23 years and closed for the 2023 season in October, will not reopen in 2024, said Nichole Hausch, the manager.
“We were thinking of reopening but the owners had other plans,” explains Hausch, who has worked at the park since 2009.
The go-karts, mini golf, batting cages, driving range, laser tag and outdoor park arcade will all be closed. “It will no longer be an entertainment park. There’s going to be something else here,” Hausch says. She doesn't know what that other thing could be, she said.
Medford Chamber of Commerce board member Cathy Ann LoSchiavo, who said she was speaking her mind, said she was “very upset” by the closure.
LoSchiavo, 66, has lived in Medford her entire life and hosted her 5-year-old daughter's birthday party at the park more than 35 years ago.
“I think it’s absolutely terrible,” she says of the change. “It’s a loss of tradition and community.” It’s an institution that people have been going to for years.
The park's website thanks visitors for their patronage at the current location as well as other sites in its history since the 1970s. It asks people with Fun Cards, used to purchase food, games or attractions in the park, to contact the park before January 31.
Hausch says she also contacted summer camps that were planning to visit Country Fair this summer, including Driftwood Day Camp in Melville, Park Shore Day Camp in Dix Hills and YMCA camps on Long Island.
“As a travel camp, we’ve been going there for years. It will be a loss,” says Bob Budah, director of Park Shore Day Camp. “It was a summer destination that the kids enjoyed.”