The State Fair of West Virginia cancelled

Published: Jun. 18, 2020 at 10:18 AM EDT
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Despite being given the go ahead by Gov. Justice, the State Fair of West Virginia Board of Directors voted on Tuesday to cancel the 2020 State Fair after the most recent outbreak of COVID-19 cases in the area.

The last time the State Fair was cancelled was in 1942-1945 for World War II.

"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."

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.

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.

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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.

Following the cancellation of the 2020 State Fair of West Virginia, Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt released the following statement:

“It is disappointing there will be no State Fair of West Virginia this year, but we understand the circumstances that led to decision the Fair Board made. The fair brings an economic boost to the region, is a showcase for our in-state producers and a vital part of our agricultural education. We will surely miss it this year.”

“I have directed my staff to start working with our partners to ensure FFA and 4-H shows can still operate in some capacity, as well as work with local producers to help market their products. We will do everything in our power to ensure West Virginia agriculture still musters on despite these circumstances.”