COVID Canceled This Major Event for the First Time Since World War II
This historic event has been canceled for only the eighth time in its 134-year history.
The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly changed the world. Even as places reopen, life is nowhere near what is was pre-coronavirus. States are requiring people to wear face masks, stores have reduced capacities, and indoor dining is only possible in certain states. Then there are the numerous events canceled this year because of the virus—a list that now includes the Texas State Fair, which hasn't been canceled since World War II.
"With a heavy heart, we are announcing that the State Fair of Texas will not open for the 2020 season," a statement on the fair's website says. "We believe the spirit of the Lone Star state lies in every Texan's ability to care and look out for their neighbor and it is with this in mind, we have decided to keep our guests, staff, and partners safe and healthy during these uncertain times."
The state fair was originally scheduled to run from Sept. 25 to Oct. 18. However, as coronavirus numbers surge around the country—particularly in Texas— Gina Norris, board chair for the State Fair of Texas, said that there was no way to allow the fair to continue on safely "while maintaining the Fair environment you know and love." The decision to cancel the 2020 season was made official by a majority vote of the State Fair of Texas Board of Directors on July 7.
This cancellation is only the eighth in the fair's 134-year history, according to their website. The last time it was canceled was back in 1945, during World War II. Prior to that, the fair didn't open in 1918 due to World War I, 1936 because of planning for the Texas Centennial Exposition, and from 1935 to 1937 in favor of the Pan American Exposition at Fair Park. As of right now, the state is still planning to host the event next in 2021, tentatively scheduled to run from Sept. 24 to Oct. 17.
"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. The safest and most responsible decision we could make for all involved at this point in our 134-year history is to take a hiatus for the 2020 season," Norris said in her statement.
While coronavirus case numbers have risen in many states across the country these past few weeks, the spread has been particularly severe in the South and in Texas. According to The New York Times, Texas currently has more than 210,000 cases and reached a new daily record of 9,181 new coronavirus cases on July 6. And for more on how the coronavirus is impacting certain states, check out The Epicenter of the COVID Pandemic Just Issued This Shocking New Order.