Missouri State Fair cancels less than a month out

Following a June announcement that the fair would continue as planned, organizers return just under a month away from the scheduled opening with news that nearly all of this year’s fair events have been canceled for 2020.

Increasing COVID-19 cases have led to the cancelation of yet another event for Missourians, this time an announcement released stating the cancellation of the Missouri State Fair.

This year the fair will have a youth livestock show instead of hosting usual fair festivities.

“We care deeply about the public health and safety of our fairgoers and our community,” a statement from the Missouri Department of Agriculture read. “When the original decision to move forward with the fair was made, the information and numbers were different than they are now.”

The announcement came after Friday’s report of new COVID-19 cases showed the week would set a new high for cases per day. The state set another new daily high on Saturday, with 958 infections reported by the Department of Health and Senior Services.

At the time of the department’s June announcement that the fair would continue as planned, Missouri had fewer than half the 32,248 cases reported through Saturday.

Another major contributor to the state fair’s cancellation this year is that vendors and exhibitors are canceling plans to attend, the department said.

“The Fair takes pride in hosting a quality outdoor experience for all fairgoers,” the department stated. “That success relies heavily on the support of our partners, sponsors and vendors. As those supporters have evaluated the effect the pandemic has had on their ability to participate, many have had to limit or cancel their participation.”