Photo Credit: Phil Roeder (CC-By-2.0)

DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa State Fair Board of Directors voted 11 to 2 to cancel the state fair, originally scheduled for August 13-23, 2020., due to concerns about COVID-19. 

The next state fair is scheduled for August 12-22, 2021. 

This decision follows Indiana, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin canceling their state fairs. Also, Chris Stapleton, scheduled to perform during the 2020 fair, already bumped his performance to 2021.

“The decision was complex and considered a wide array of factors. The Iowa State Fair’s top priority is protecting the health and safety of Fairgoers, staff, volunteers, exhibitors, and entertainers,” Gary Slater, CEO and manager of the Iowa State Fair, said in a statement.

“Amid the pandemic, we couldn’t, in good conscience, put on the Fair when we knew access to emergency safety services at the Fair could be limited, public transportation to and from the Fair would not be possible, the constant sanitization of a seemingly infinite amount of high touch surfaces lacked feasibility and social distancing in lines to get your favorite Fair food or walking the Grand Concourse would be difficult,” he added.

Over 1.17 million people attended the state fair in 2019, setting a new attendance record and making more than $29.5 million. Catch Des Moines reports that the state fair brings in approximately $110 million for the Des Moines Metro, income that is now lost.

The last time the Iowa State Fair was canceled was during World War II. 

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