The Iowa State Fair is Canceled for the First Time Since WWII
The Iowa State Fair board of directors met Wednesday and whether you call it a
"postponement" until next year or cancellation, a press release announcement confirms that for the first time since World War II, the Iowa State Fair is not being held this year.
In their vote, the board decided 11-2 to call off this year's event. Last year's Iowa State Fair set a record for attendance of over 1.17 million visitors, and 2020's cancelation marks only the sixth time in the fair's history, which began in 1854, that it has been called off, this time due to COVID-19.
Leaving Iowans with just a bit of hope, the board held out a bit longer in making this announcement than other fairs in the Midwest that have already canceled, including Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana, according to We Are Iowa. In the end, and on the same day Governor Reynolds made a major reopening announcement, lifting capacity limits on most Iowa businesses, safety was a chief concern in the decision.
Management made a statement, according to the press release, that after a review of possible options and current health guidelines and examining operating limitations, they found that it would not be responsible to hold the fair this year.
Further, they said, "the top priority of the Iowa State Fair has and always will be to protect the health and safety of Fairgoers. While the decision of the Iowa State Fair Board today will certainly come as a disappointment to many, the Board determined that holding a Fair in accordance with current health guidelines related to COVID-19 wasn't feasible"
Entertainment for the fair, which was scheduled for August 13-23, is in the process of being rebooked for 2021. Chris Stapleton was a grandstand performer who had already postponed his show prior to the fair's cancelation. Next year's fair is scheduled for August 12-22, 2021.
Options for 4-H and FFA youth livestock shows are under review. As more information emerges, we will keep you updated. Please visit the Iowa State Fair website for more information on tickets, events, and other questions.