Citing complications with COVID-19, Chair Gina Norris stated, “This was an extremely tough decision. The health and safety of all involved has remained our top priority throughout the decision-making process.”
Norris continued, “One of the greatest aspects of the Fair is welcoming each and every person who passes through our gates with smiles and open arms. In the current climate of COVID-19, there is no feasible way for the Fair to put proper precautions in place while maintaining the Fair environment you know and love.”
“While we cannot predict what the COVID-19 pandemic will look like in September, the recent surge in positive cases is troubling for all of North Texas. The safest and most responsible decision we could make for all involved at this point in our 134-year history is to take a hiatus for the 2020 season.”
The board affirmed that its non-profit commitments to programs such as the Big Tex Youth Livestock Auction, Big Tex Scholarship Program, and Big Tex Urban Farms will continue to be funded.
Despite the cancelation, the board says that any college football games scheduled to play at the Cotton Bowl — including the Red River Showdown on October 10 — are still currently on and any decision to cancel those will be up to the NCAA.
After consideration and collecting feedback from stakeholders, the fair said the cancelation was in the best interest of its patrons’ health and safety.
Mitchell Glieber, president of the State Fair of Texas, underscored, “While we are heartbroken at the notion of not welcoming more than 2.5 million of our closest friends for this annual celebration of the Lone Star State, the excitement we feel in moving forward with planning the 2021 State Fair of Texas and keeping this 134-year tradition alive will keep us motivated until we can greet our fairgoers, seasonal staff, and business partners again in a safe environment.”
The state fair has only been canceled 10 other times in its history over 130-year history — the last of which was during World War II.
The 2021 fair is set for September 24 through October 17.
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Brad Johnson is an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.