The Minnesota State Fair announced today they are canceling this year's event for reasons that stem from the Covid-19 pandemic, a statement on the fair's website says.
"This isn’t a difficult decision. It’s the only decision," Minnesota State Fair General Manager Jerry Hammer said in the statement. "It’s the right thing to do."
The fair, which now attracts more than 2 million guests annually, was last canceled in 1946 due to a polio epidemic and only six times total since its founding in 1859, its website says.
"By taking the tough road today, we guarantee that the fair’s future remains hopeful and bright," Hammer said. "We want to see you all for many years to come, when we can celebrate in true State Fair style."
Organizers of the event say they considered a variety of less serious options including postponement, extra safety measures, and extending the timeline of the fair to space out crowds.
However, the organizers felt that many of the possible restrictions would not be feasible.
"We keep coming back to the idea that the Great Minnesota Get-Together should be a celebration where we all can gather together to enjoy each other," the website reads.
"To undertake these types of restrictions runs counter to who we are," it adds.
Ultimately, however, the board of the Minnesota State Agricultural Society made the decision to cancel the fair, the fair's website explains.
"The best thing we can all do right now is to help the world recover and heal," Hammer said.
"In the meantime, your team of State Fair pros is working hard to come back bigger, better, stronger and smarter in ‘21," he added.