Amid rising coronavirus case levels, the State Fair of Texas has called off its 2020 edition, just the eighth time in the fair’s 134-year history it had to be called off. Refunds will be processed automatically to those who had already purchased admission, according to organizers.
“With a heavy heart, we are announcing that the State Fair of Texas will not open for the 2020 season,” reads the announcement of the cancellation on the event website.” We believe the spirit of the Lone Star state lies in every Texan’s ability to care and look out for their neighbor and it is with this in mind, we have decided to keep our guests, staff, and partners safe and healthy during these uncertain time. Click the button below to find out more information about this news, including refund information for those who have already purchased a ticket. We look forward to giving y’all a great big Howdy in 2021.”
The decision came despite attempts by fair organizers to come up with a plan to hold the event while keeping workers and attendees safe. Discussions included fairgoers, concessionaires, exhibitors, midway vendors, business partners and medical experts as well as government officials, but ultimately the decision was made to avoid the potential for contributing to the current spread of COVID-19.
Texas has emerged as a hotspot of late, doubling its known positive case total between June 15 and July 3. Monday and Tuesday saw over 18,000 cases, helping move the seven day reported case average up to 7,450 – more than three times the average on June 15. Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statewide order requiring masks on July 2 in an attempt to slow down the surge in cases.
“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,’” said Mitchell Glieber, president of the State Fair of Texas.
Organizers are now pivoting to planning for the return of the fair in 2021, scheduled for September 24-October 17.