FAIRLEA, WV (WVNS) — After much consideration, the State Fair of West Virginia will not happen in 2020. The Board of Directors made the decision Tuesday, June 16, 2020 after the most recent outbreak of COVID-19 cases in the area.
“When we first discussed moving forward with the 2020 State Fair, we knew it was a fluid situation that could change quickly,” CEO Kelly Collins states. “Unfortunately, the number of COVID-19 cases surged only hours after our initial announcement. After speaking with local and state health officials as well as community members, it was a hard decision, but the right decision to cancel.”
“The initial decision to open the state fair this year was based on thorough guidelines presented to us by local and state health officials in combination with low COVID-19 numbers in the area,” says Board Chair Ralph Warren “We understood the situation has now changed and the board felt it was important to act quickly. It’s difficult to make this decision knowing the financial impact the State Fair has to our state and community.”
Vendors and those with camping reservations will be contacted by a member of the State Fair staff within the next few weeks.
The State Fair of West Virginia is working with partners to create a Junior Market animal show and will have more information soon.
Although the state fair is canceled this year, they are planning for next year. CEO Kelly Collins said there are many questions surrounding next year, including where money will come from with this year’s loss.
“We’re gonna have to think about our budget. We aren’t gonna have the money to support 2021, we didn’t get anything in 2020. So we’re really gonna look at what we have to have, what we can have, try to make it better. We have plenty of time to plan for it,” Collins said.
The State Fair is working through rescheduling concerts for 2021. Announcements will be made in the coming days. Once those announcements are made, ticket holders will be given the option of a refund, or to roll tickets over to the 2021 event.
The 96th State Fair is scheduled August 12-21, 2021. The State Fair of West Virginia has a $13.8 million dollar economic impact on the state of West Virginia, and is a 501 © 3 non-profit corporation committed to the traditions of agriculture, family entertainment, and education.
The last time the State Fair was canceled was in 1942-1945 for World War II.
Stick with 59 News as we continue to follow this developing story.