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Closings, Cancellations and Delays

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Another state fair announces cancellation amid coronavirus pandemic

SD Ag Connection - June 1, 2020

MILWAUKEE, WI - Amid cancellations of state fairs across the country, including North Dakota and Minnesota, the chairman of the Wisconsin State Fair Park in West Allis has made the decision to cancel the 2020 Wisconsin State Fair. John Yingling, who was granted the authority to decide the event's fate earlier this week, announced  that the 169th annual fair will be called off out of an abundance of caution to its visitors, staff, vendors and entertainers amid the coronavirus outbreak.

"On behalf of the entire State Fair Park Board of Directors, please know that the decision to cancel the 2020 Wisconsin State Fair was not taken lightly," Yingling said in a statement. "Months of deliberation took place, considering all options to host a fair that adheres to the highest standard of safety without compromising the experience. We explored countless models, but ultimately safety cannot be compromised. The risks associated with hosting an event of this size and scope right now are just too great."

Yingling says the board and staff have been closely monitoring COVID-19 data from local, state and federal health officials before making the final decision. He adds that while some restrictions have recently been lifted and businesses are beginning to re-open, most are requiring strict safety measures, including social distancing, the wearing of masks and temperature checks.

Meanwhile, WSFP CEO Kathleen O'Leary said those who have already purchased admission tickets during the annual holiday sales promotion can choose to have their money refunded or applied toward the 2021 fair.

The Wisconsin State Fair is considered to be the largest event in the state, drawing more than a million people over the course of 11 days. It joins Minnesota, North Dakota and Ohio as the fourth state fair in the nation to forgo plans this summer. Several other states are going to a scaled-down version.

Locally, 13 county and district fairs in Wisconsin that have already announced cancellations for 2020.

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