The 2020 State Fair of Texas has been canceled, striking yet another blow at the Texas economy. The Fair’s board members voted to cancel the exposition for the first time since WWII. Officials said this decision was reached only after extensive consideration of factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This was an extremely tough decision. The health and safety of all involved has remained our top priority throughout the decision-making process,” said Gina Norris, Board Chair for the State Fair of Texas. “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.”
The Fair’s commitment to promoting agriculture, education, and community involvement will continue. The Big Tex Youth Livestock Auction and livestock shows, Big Tex Scholarship Program, Big Tex Urban Farms, and community outreach initiatives will continue.
Although the 2020 State Fair of Texas is canceled, participating NCAA, conferences, and universities are responsible for decisions about football games at the Cotton Bowl Stadium. The University of Texas, University of Oklahoma, Prairie View A&M University, and Grambling State University usually play during the Fair. If football games are played this fall, the schools will play in the Cotton Bowl as scheduled.
Input to help make the decision to cancel the Fair was gathered from numerous sources. Fairgoers, concessionaires, commercial exhibitors, and Midway operators were consulted. Also auto manufacturers, business partners, staff, medical experts, and government officials.
Mitchell Glieber, State Fair of Texas President, said, “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.’”
The State Fair of Texas previously canceled the exposition because of World War I (1918). It was also canceled while planning for the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition and 1937 Pan American Exposition at Fair Park (1935 – 1937), and World War II (1942 – 1945).
For more info, please visit BigTex.com. The 2021 State Fair of Texas is scheduled to run September 24 through October 17 in historic Fair Park.