The Minnesota State Fair cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic

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The Minnesota State fair board of directors Friday voted to cancel the 2020 fair due to the ongoing fight against the coronavirus. 

Hammer put out this statement:

"We’ve been working hard and doing our very best with preparations for the 2020 State Fair. The picture was cloudy in March, but things have cleared up considerably since then. Right now is the time of year when things need to really take off if we’re going to have a fair, but we can see that we’re out of runway and can’t get off the ground. There will be no State Fair this year.
Like everything during the past few months, it’s complex and difficult. The State Fair is built on a vast network of agriculturists, vendors, artists, entertainers, competitors, amusement operators, sponsors, State Fair staff and thousands more who always give their very best. They are the pillars of the fair, and almost all have been affected during the past two months. Some are doing okay, but many have eroded including some who provide our biggest and best programs. It’s a challenging time for our determined young people in youth agriculture programs. More and more livestock exhibitors, entertainers and attraction operators are concerned with going on the road this summer. Some commercial exhibitors are past their deadlines for getting products, and now there’s even a question of adequate supplies for food vendors. And many are having trouble finding people who are willing to work in crowds. 
This will have a big impact on thousands of businesses and the tens of thousands of people whose talent, dedication and love bring the fair to life. We understand exactly what they’re going through because we’re going through the same thing. 
We’ll face those challenges because the most important thing is your health. No one knows what things will be like at fair time, but we need to make decisions now based on what we know today, not how we hope things will be in August. And right now, all of the science says that if things go well, we’ll still be walking very carefully in three months. That’s far from ready to run a mass gathering marathon like the State Fair. Can you see social distancing on a Park & Ride bus, or at the Bandshell? One at a time on the Giant Slide? Can you imagine standing six feet apart in line for cookies? Me neither.
 The State Fair needs to be a full-on celebration. That’s what makes it very special for so many of us, including young fair fan Addie who is 5 years old. She starts kindergarten this fall and she said,“I love the fair. There are a hundred things to do there. And it’s my birthday. It’s my favorite time of year.”
Millions of people love the fair just like Addie, even if it’s not their birthday. And that’s exactly why we can’t have a fair this year. We owe it to you now, and we owe it to posterity to give you the very best that we possibly can in a safe environment. By taking the tough road today, we guarantee that the fair’s future remains hopeful and bright.
A month ago, my good friend Carlos wrote,“If there’s no fair this year, it’s because they love us and want to see EVERYone next year.” He’s right. That’s the heart of the matter. We want to see you all for many years to come, when we can celebrate in true State Fair style. 
So this isn’t a difficult decision. It’s the only decision. It’s the right thing to do. As we go through this strange summer, we’re extremely grateful for the understanding and support of everyone who makes the State Fair possible – especially the millions of fair fans from around the globe. The best thing we can all do right now is to help the world recover and heal. In the meantime, your team of State Fair pros is working hard to come back bigger, better, stronger and smarter in ‘21. We’ll see you next year at the Great Minnesota Get-Back-Together."

Fair fans who were on the fairgrounds when the announcement was made are expressing their disappointment, with a measure of understanding.

"You just didn't want to hear it," said Nancy Shugel of Roseville, who was walking her dog on the fairgrounds when the announcement was made. "You kind of think, how would they be able to do it, so you were hoping that wasn't true, but you kind of knew that was coming."

"We're just going to have to live through it and see what happens next, and hopefully, we'll see if it's back next year," said Cray Linna, a twice-a-year fairgoer.

"It was coming, it sucks, but there's nothing we can do," said Matthew Nelson, who's a big fan of the Miracle of Birth Center. "I guess we'll be hanging out in our back yard compared to coming here."

The Great Minnesota Get-Together was scheduled to run Aug. 27 until Labor Day, Sept. 7 at the historic fairgrounds in Falcon Heights.

The state fair attracted more than 2,000,000 people in both 2018 and 2019.

Last year's fair had six single-day attendance records.

The last time the Minnesota State Fair was canceled was 1946 because of fears from a polio epidemic.

It was the second straight year the fair was called off.

There was no fair in 1945 because of World War II restrictions.

The state fair returned in 1947 with a bang... it was the first year Pronto Pups were served.

The first two cancellations of the Minnesota State Fair were in 1861 because of the Civil War, and 1862 because of the Dakota Conflict.

The 1893 Chicago World's Fair, which lasted six months, drew so much attention that Minnesota State Fair officials called off their event.