COLUMBUS —The 2020 Ohio State Fair was canceled last week due to health concerns having to do with COVID-19.
This announcement was posted on the Ohio State Fair website:
“Today, the Ohio Expositions Commission announced that it will cancel the 2020 Ohio State Fair, originally scheduled for July 29 – August 9 in Columbus. Members of the Commission expressed concern for public health, as well as the financial feasibility of hosting a socially distant fair that would adhere to social distancing protocols and its impact on the long-term viability of the Ohio State Fair.
“After careful thought and deliberation, we have decided to cancel the Ohio State Fair. Knowing how easily the virus spreads in large groups, we believe it is the safest path forward for the health and safety of all Ohioans.” said Andy Doehrel, chair of the Ohio Expositions Commission. “The financial ramifications of hosting a reduced-capacity Fair would be too great, and we need to protect the great Ohio State Fair for future generations.”
“Our first priority is the safety of the hundreds of thousands of people involved in the Ohio State Fair each year. While this is a difficult decision, we feel it is necessary to protect the fairgoers, exhibitors, volunteers, vendors, partners, performers, concessionaires, youth leaders, employees and sponsors,” said Virgil Strickler, general manager of the Ohio Expo Center & State Fair.
Last year, 934,925 people attended the Ohio State Fair during its 12-day run. These attendees came from each of Ohio’s 88 counties, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, as well as Canada and Mexico.
The Ohio Expositions Commission is focused on developing a strategy to responsibly reopen its year-round facilities when appropriate, and to welcome guests back for the 2021 Ohio State Fair, scheduled for July 28 through Aug. 8 of next year.
Meanwhile no decision has been made regarding the 2020 Morrow County Fair. It is scheduled for Aug. 31-Sept. 7.
A post on its Facebook page last week reads:
“As we are in difficult times, we want to assure you that the executive board, board of directors, fair secretary and junior fair coordinators have been in constant contact with the Ohio Department of Agricultural, Ohio Fair Managers Association and local authorities about the process of continuing fair activities on the grounds.
“As we cannot promise how these will look come fair time. We want to assure you that we need to make sure we abide by the rulings to make a safe and healthy fair. Currently no decision has been made on the fair or how it will look for this fall. We hope to have some clarity during the month of June.”