2020 Ohio State Fair cancels, unable to ensure distancing and safety during pandemic

Posted at 11:02 AM, May 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-21 11:02:17-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The 2020 Ohio State Fair will be canceled entirely.

Members of the Ohio Expositions Commission voted Thursday to nix the event in the interest of public health and safely. According to a news release from the commission, the danger posed by hosting a large, crowded public event would too much, even in July — and attempting to implement and enforce coronavirus safety measures for its 900,000 anticipated attendees would be too expensive.

“Knowing how easily the virus spreads in large groups, we believe it is the safest path forward for the health and safety of all Ohioans,” commission chair Andy Doehrel wrote in a statement. “The financial ramifications of hosting a reduced-capacity Fair would be too great, and we need to protect the Ohio State Fair for future generations.”

The commission will shift its focus to planning for 2021, according to the release.

“I look forward to seeing my fellow Ohioans at the 2021 Ohio State Fair, when it is safer for us to enjoy our favorite traditions together,” wrote Virgil Strickler, general manager of the Ohio Expo Center and State Fair.