Cheshire Fair To Discuss Policies After "Black Flies Matter" T-Shirts Spark Protest

Aug 7, 2017

This photo of t-shirts being sold at the Cheshire Fair was part of a viral post on the Black Lives Matter NH Facebook page

The Cheshire Fair may consider clearer protocols for vendors after the sale of racially-tinged items at least week’s fair drew social media protests.

Organizers say they weren’t prepared for people to complain about a booth selling provocative t-shirts.

The booth in question flew Confederate flags and sold, among other things, t-shirts that read “Black Flies Matter.” Some fair-goers complained, as did many more people who weren’t there but saw social media posts.

Cheshire fair treasurer Mark Florenz says fair organizers didn’t know what to do.

“I think we would be well-served to have a plan in place a head of time next time. It was a challenge this year because we didn’t anticipate this happening, and social media reaction is something that’s not new but it’s evolving.”

A Facebook posting by Black Lives Matter New Hampshire that showed pictures of the controversial vendors’ booth was shared more than two hundred times. Registration forms for Cheshire Fair vendors require them to list all the items they will sell, and asks them to be specific.