The 159th Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society Livestock Show and Fair will be canceled this summer, the society announced Thursday morning.

“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the cancellation of this years Agricultural Fair,” the society said in a post on its Facebook page.

An attached press release said the trustees had made “the difficult, but necessary decision to cancel the 2020 fair,” at a meeting Wednesday night.

“We understand the fair is near and dear to so many of you and we want you to know this decision was not made lightly. In these difficult times we must move forward with an abundance of caution and ensure we are doing what is best for the health and safety of our volunteers, our staff, and our Island community,” the release also said.

One of the cornerstones of summer traditions on the Vineyard, the fair is held for four days every August on the society’s fairgrounds in West Tisbury. Animal judging, horse and oxen pulls, oyster shucking and fiddling contests are all highlights at the annual celebration of Island agriculture, small farming and conservation.

But due to the pandemic, this year the focus shifts, the society said in its press release.

“We will be taking this time to refocus all our resources on supporting local food producers and distributors,” the release said.

“We are already engaged in discussions with farmers, fishermen, and food distribution organizations to see how we can help get more food on the tables of our friends and neighbors. In times like these it is imperative that we do what Islanders do: come together, support one another, and ensure we all make it through this together.”