WEST ALLIS, Wis. (WFRV) – The 2020 Wisconsin State Fair has been canceled, making it the latest event canceled amid concerns surround coronavirus.
According to a release, the Wisconsin State Fair Park Board of Directors unanimously voted on Tuesday to authorize Chairman John Yingling to make the determination on whether events scheduled at State Fair Park for this year – including the State Fair – should be canceled.
On Thursday, “Yingling announced that for the safety of fairgoers, staff, vendors, entertainers, exhibitors, sponsors, suppliers and the broader community, the 2020 Wisconsin State Fair has been canceled,” per the release.
The board and staff say they’ve been monitoring the coronavirus data from local, state, and federal health officials.
“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. The evidence that this disease spreads quickly and easily when people are in densely populated areas has led several agencies to continue their recommendation to avoid mass gatherings,” officials said.
They add that “the magnitude of the financial implications associated with hosting a fair with significantly reduced attendance, as well as implementing the recommended mass gathering safety measures, could be detrimental to the future of State Fair Park. The State Fair Park Board has the responsibility to be stewards of the public funds entrusted to Wisconsin State Fair Park and ensure the financial viability of the Fair Park not only heading into 2021, but for years to come.”
“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,” said Yingling. “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.”
As a State of Wisconsin agency, Chairman Yingling and the State Fair Park Board of Directors have been in communication with Governor Evers, as well as the Department of Administration, and have their support.
“The Wisconsin State Fair is so much more than just a fair – it is a celebration of everything we are so proud of in Wisconsin,” said Kathleen O’Leary, CEO of Wisconsin State Fair Park. “We understand the magnitude of disappointment you may be feeling. We feel it too. However, safety is our top priority, and that cannot be compromised under any circumstance. We have tremendously loyal fairgoers, vendors, partners and exhibitors. For that we are forever grateful, and our greatest responsibility is to ensure that the fair remains strong and resilient for future generations.”
For those who have already purchased admission tickets during the annual holiday sales promotion, tickets will be valid for the 2021 Wisconsin State Fair. However, refunds are also available through June 30, 2020. Main Stage concert tickets are eligible for a full refund. Concert tickets purchased with a credit card will automatically be refunded to the card used for purchase. For more details, as well as answers to many other questions, please visit Wistatefair.com.
Uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus has caused numerous local events to be canceled:
- Algoma 2020 Sunday Farmer’s Market
- Appleton Old Car Show and Swap Meet
- Country USA
- The Door County Fair
- EAA AirVenture
- Fox Cities Butterfly Festival
- Green & Gold Charity Softball game
- The Green Lake County Fair
- Greenville Catfish Races and Concert
- Hodag Country Festival in Rhinelander
- igNight Market in Green Bay’s Broadway District
- The Iola Car Show
- The Kewaunee County Fair
- Rock USA
- Warrens Cranberry Festival
- The Winnebago County Fair
- Wisconsin State Fair
Some events will be held, with modifications, including:
- Appleton’s Octoberfest and License to Cruise
- The Brown County Fair
- The Fond du Lac County Fair
- The Outagamie County Fair
- The Shawano County Fair
- The Waupaca County Fair
- Door County selected as pilot community in statewide affordable housing initiative
- 5 deaths at Wisconsin prisons as virus rages across state
- Appleton launches plan to bring some high school students back