The decision follows a vote by the event’s board of directors, which took into consideration input from a variety of stakeholders, including fairgoers, concessionaires, commercial exhibitors, fair workers and government officials, according to the release.
“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,” State Fair Board Chair Gina Norris said in the release. “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.”
This is the eighth time in the fair’s 134-year history that the event has been canceled. Previous cancellations took place during World War I and World War II as well as during other disruptions.
The board considered the economic impact on North Texas and alternative plans for the event but ultimately decided the risk of spreading the virus was too high, according to the release.
The fair will continue to offer opportunities for livestock and creative arts events. Collegiate football events at the Cotton Bowl Stadium will be held at the discretion of the participating conferences and universities, per the release.
State Fair President Mitchell Glieber called the cancellation “heartbreaking” but said plans for next year’s event are unaffected by the decision.
“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,” he said in the release.