DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Hold the pork chop on a stick and get a butter cow rain check. This summer’s Iowa State Fair was cancelled Wednesday due to concerns about the coronavirus, marking the first time since World War II that the annual gathering won’t be held in Des Moines. Without comment, the state fair board voted 11-2 to cancel the fair, which typically caps an Iowa summer with an 11-day run in mid-August. The fair is the biggest attraction in Iowa, typically drawing more than 1 million visitors who check out the butter cow, buy countless kinds of food typically skewered with a stick and stroll through 445 acres of barns, carnival attractions and even a campground. Officials in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Indiana also have cancelled their fairs.
Iowa State Fair Board Votes to Postpone 2020 Iowa State Fair to 2021
Options for 4-H and FFA youth livestock shows are under review
The Iowa State Fair Board, the governing body who oversees the Iowa State Fair, today voted to postpone the 2020 Iowa State Fair until August 12-22, 2021, amid ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns. The decision was made to protect the health and safety of all Fairgoers.
After a thorough review of possible options, while carefully reviewing current health guidelines and examining operating limitations, it became clear that holding the 2020 Iowa State Fair, which attracts approximately one million people over 11 days, would not be responsible.
“The top priority of the Iowa State Fair has and always will be to protect the health and safety of Fairgoers. While the decision of the Iowa State Fair Board today will certainly come as a disappointment to many, the Board determined that holding a Fair in accordance with current health guidelines related to COVID-19 wasn’t feasible,” said Iowa State Fair Manager and CEO Gary Slater. “We appreciate the support of Fairgoers over the past few months as we’ve reviewed various options for the 2020 Iowa State Fair. We certainly look forward to welcoming over one million people back to the Fair in 2021.”
The Iowa State Fair had been scheduled for August 13-23, 2020. The Iowa State Fair Board delayed a decision as long as possible and believed it was important to make a decision on the Fair now in order to give concessionaires, vendors and Fairgoers planning a trip to the Fair ample notice.
Iowa State Fair staff and management have already begun the process of booking entertainment and planning for the 2021 Iowa State Fair scheduled for August 12-22.
Please visit www.iowastatefair.org for more information on tickets, events, and other questions.