State Fair of Texas Canceled for the First Time Since WWII
The 2020 State Fair of Texas has been canceled. The Fair's Board of Directors, after extensive consideration, voted to make this decision as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a press release, Gina Norris, board chair for the State Fair of Texas, said “This was an extremely tough decision. The health and safety of all involved has remained our top priority throughout the decision-making process. 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.”
This will be the first time since World War II that the State Fair of Texas has not opened. The State Fair of Texas has previously canceled Fairs because of World War I (1918), planning for the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition and 1937 Pan American Exposition at Fair Park (1935 – 1937), and World War II (1942 – 1945).
While the State Fair of Texas is canceled for 2020, the NCAA, respective conferences, and participating universities – the University of Texas & University of Oklahoma and Prairie View A&M University & Grambling State University – will be in charge of making decisions regarding the football games that occur at Cotton Bowl Stadium during this unprecedented time of COVID-19. Should football be played this fall, the schools will be playing in the Cotton Bowl as scheduled, despite the cancellation of the 2020 State Fair.
The Board of Directors gathered input from fairgoers, concessionaires, commercial exhibitors, Midway operators, auto manufacturers, business partners, staff, medical experts, and government officials to consider while coming to this conclusion.
“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.
The 2021 State Fair of Texas is scheduled to run Friday, September 24 through Sunday, October 17 in historic Fair Park