The Kansas State Fair, which has been in existence since 1913, has been cancelled. The Kansas State Fair Board reconsidered their previous, June 30 action to have the 10-day event, scheduled to be September 11-20, and voted Monday morning to cancel the 2020 Fair. Since the June 30 vote, several things have taken place that the State Fair staff came back to the board with the recommendation to cancel the fair.
At the late June meeting, the board was presented a plan to have a full and safe Fair following current health guidelines. Because of the cancellation of other fairs across the midwest, some vendors, part of a large fair circuit, couldn’t feasibly travel just to Kansas. Other reported a shortage of employees because many of their workers are over 65. Employers didn’t want to put employees at risk.
Also, some vendors had already expressed concerns with the current COVID-19 upsurge and had planned to not attend this year.
“While we knew this year’s Fair was going to be different, we realized we weren’t going to be able to provide the same annual tradition that Fair goers have come to expect,” said Fair Board President Harmon Bliss. “While we are heartbroken there will not be a Kansas State Fair this year, we want to make sure the Fair is on solid footing for another 100 years.
The fair contributes an estimated $74.6 million to the Kansas economy annually, according to a 2018 report by the Kansas Department of Agriculture. The economic impact in the Fair’s 60-mile radius is more than $40 million.
Open Class and Youth Livestock Shows
While the traditional Fair won’t happen, staff is working to hose both open class and youth livestock shows over three weekends starting Labor Day weekend. This includes the state’s premier Grand Drive youth show, which will take place September 11-13. More information on livestock events is available here.
All Tickets To Be Honored in 2021
All gate admission tickets, packages and food tickets already purchased will be valid for the 2021 Kansas State Fair. Staff is currently working to reschedule the 2020 Nex-Tech Wireless Grandstand lineup. If rescheduled, those tickets also will be honored at next year’s Fair. How to obtain refunds will be announced soon. More information will be on the Fair’s website – kansasstatefair.com – by Tuesday.
The 2021 Kansas State Fair is Sept. 10-19.
“We don’t know what the situation in Kansas will look like in September. But decisions must be made on what we know today,” Bliss said. “Not seeing families and friends in 2020 will be disappointing. After all, the Kansas State Fair is not just an event. It is a tradition. It is a way of life. It is a showcase of the best of Kansas. “The 2021 Fair will be bigger and better, and we can’t wait to once again be a destination for families and friends to gather to make those lasting memories.”
Source: Kansas State Fair