Minnesota State Fair cancelled

Minnesota State Fair cancelled
The 2019 State Fair attracted 2.1 million visitors. (Source: Ryan Sjoberg)

MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - The 2020 Great Minnesota Get Together has been cancelled. The Minnesota State Fair board of managers met this morning to discuss the 2020 State Fair. They then announced their decision to cancel the State Fair, which was to be held from August 27th to September 7th.

This announcement coming after Governor Tim Walz said last month that it was “very difficult” to see the State Fair operating this year.

“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," writes Minnesota State Fair General Manager Jerry Hammer in the update released to the public.

Several factors affected the decision by the board of managers, including concerns about the current state of agricultural industries and food service industries; important players in the State Fair each year. But the main factor driving the decision is concerns about the health of all Minnesotans who attend the fair.

With current predictions showing that we will still be maintaining social distancing guidelines for the next three months, the State Fair serves as a place where that kind of caution can’t exist.

“Can you see social distancing on a Park & Ride bus, or at the Bandshell? One at a time on the Giant Slide? Can you imagine standing six feet apart in line for cookies? Me neither," writes Hammer.

The planning and preparing that goes into the State Fair each year is usually picking up into full swing now, which is why the decision to cancel the Fair comes so many months before the planned dates. This allows Minnesotans to focus on the here and now, while giving them some breathing room to plan for next year.

“As we go through this strange summer, we’re extremely grateful for the understanding and support of everyone who makes the State Fair possible – especially the millions of fair fans from around the globe. The best thing we can all do right now is to help the world recover and heal. In the meantime, your team of State Fair pros is working hard to come back bigger, better, stronger and smarter in ‘21. We’ll see you next year at the Great Minnesota Get-Back-Together,” Hammer concludes.

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