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Many state fairs canceled; status of others still in flux

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For many 4-H and FFA members, the state fair is a celebration of their hard work and dedication shown over the past year. Unfortunately, 2020 has shaped up to be a very trying year. While many students look forward to proving their resiliency, others may not have that opportunity. Students have truly shown a testament to their organizations’ mission and purpose during these trying times. The states below have either made a decision to cancel, move forward, or await a final decision from their board of directors. This list will be updated as more information becomes available. 

California State Fair: Canceled

“While we had remained hopeful that the CA State Fair & Food Festival would be able to continue our 166-year tradition this summer of showcasing the best of California and entertaining the state’s residents and families, it’s clear the impact of COVID-19 will continue to be felt for the foreseeable future and that large gatherings should be postponed at this time.”

Illinois State Fair: Pending decision

“As the Governor has said, large events like the Illinois and Du Quoin State Fairs are unfortunately not likely to happen in the near future. While a final decision has yet to be made regarding our 2020 state fairs, we will continue to evaluate with the Governor and IDPH and keep Illinoisans updated on any new developments.”

Indiana State Fair: Moving forward

“As we move forward with plans to host this year’s Indiana State Fair August 7-23, we continue to monitor the situation closely and follow the guidance of the State of Indiana and public health authorities. Until then, we encourage Hoosiers to stay healthy and strong as our community continues to rebound.”

Iowa State Fair: Pending decision

“Fear of the unknown can be overwhelming at times. The safety and health of our staff, volunteers, and Fairgoers is our top priority. We never want someone to feel unsafe working or attending the Fair. It is because of this that we are carefully considering all our options. Although planning the best 11 days in August takes time, we believe at a minimum, our Fair partners and grounds crews require 60-70 days. With that timeline in mind, we will be making a decision about what the 2020 Iowa State Fair will look like in early to mid-June,” said Gary D. Slater, CEO and Fair Manager.

Kansas State Fair: Moving Forward

“Planning and preparations continue for the 2020 Kansas State Fair,” said the Fair’s General Manager Robin Jennison.

Michigan State Fair: Moving Forward

“Amidst the current COVID-19 outbreak, the Michigan State Fair presented by Ram Trucks is currently still looking forward to commencing and celebrating Michigan’s agriculture, traditions, and community on the original dates of September 3rd – 7th 2020.”

Minnesota State Fair: Canceled 

In a video announcement, Minnesota State Fair General Manager Jerry Hammer said, “Right now is the time of year when things need to really take off if we’re going to have a fair, but we can see that we’re out of runway and can’t get off the ground. There will be no State Fair this year.” See the video here

Missouri State Fair: Pending decision

“At this time, we are still moving forward with preparations, although we have altered timelines and are looking at things from all angles.” The statement continues, “As opening day of the 2020 Fair approaches, we, like you, are anxious to know if the Fair will happen. A lot of work goes in to hosting the 11-day Fair each August. We expect a decision involving what the 2020 Missouri State Fair will look like to be announced in early to mid-June. We will share that information through our website and social media as quickly as we can.”

Nebraska State Fair:  Moving forward

“Nebraska State Fair is currently planning to showcase our FULL 11-day event on August 28 – September 7, 2020 and produce the Aksarben Stock Show September 24-27, 2020.”

North Dakota State Fair: Canceled 

“It is with great regret that we must announce the 2020 North Dakota State Fair is cancelled. The cancellation is due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. This decision is in the best interest for all involved. It is impossible to predict the scale of this pandemic and our concern is for the health and safety of our community, our attendees, exhibitors, vendors, staff and all involved with the North Dakota State Fair.”

Virginia State Fair: Moving forward

“The State Fair of Virginia is still on schedule for September 25, 2020 through October 4, 2020. We are carefully following the directives of local and national health agencies, monitoring the COVID-19 public health situation, and weighing the potential impacts of holding the fair. We anticipate updates in June.”

Wisconsin State Fair: Pending decision

A statement on their website says, “As of today, a formal decision has not been made whether the Wisconsin State Fair will go on as planned August 6-16, or will be cancelled.” However, a report from a local news station, CBS 58 says the decision to cancel has been made and will be announced today. 

 

This article will be updated as more information becomes available.

Any views or opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect those of AGDAILY. Comments on this article reflect the sole opinions of their writers.