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2020 York State Fair canceled over COVID-19 safety concerns

Organizers said it's the first time the Fair has been canceled since the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic
york state fair

YORK, Pa. — The 2020 York State Fair has been canceled due to COVID-19 safety concerns, organizers announced Wednesday.

It's the first time since the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic that the York Fair has been canceled.

The decision was made after a Fair Board meeting on Tuesday, organizers said in a press release.

“There were many factors in reaching this decision including Governor Tom Wolf’s statement last week that a packed Grandstand would create a problem," said Bryan Blair, CEO of the York Fair/York Expo Center. "We also learned that 4-H is delaying participation until late summer.

"Other major fairs have canceled, and some of those may have an impact on Strates Shows routing into or out of our Fair. We also do not know when York County will move into the Green Phase of the recovery. 

"Plus, when you think about all of the restrictions that would have been placed on our fair guests in terms of one way traffic through our buildings, a restricted number of vendors and social distancing it just became very apparent that we were not going to have the ability to make those accommodations on short notice."

Blair added that he understands the COVID-19 pandemic has affected many people and families who normally attend the fair or are involved in it.

"The importance of those people surpasses the difficult decision that had to be made," he said. "We also believe that while we are unsure of what the end of July will look like in regard to the pandemic, we know that opening the fair while following all guidelines set by local government and the CDC would be insurmountable at this point."

The 2020 York State Fair was very anticipated not only for guests but also for those who spend year-round planning for the event, Blair said.

Concert ticket sales were going to surpass records, a new midway was going to bring back tradition to the Fair, and it was the first year with a new name and date, he added. 

“It is easy to say that we were ready to produce a Fair that York has not seen in decades,” Blair said.

Organizers are making efforts to negotiate the terms with the Fair's entertainers and concerts scheduled on the Bobcat of York Grandstand Stage for July 23-August 1, 2021. 

"We will make those announcements at a later date and communicate with our current ticket holders with their opportunities," said Blair.

Information surrounding the planning of the 2021 York State Fair will be released in months to come, Blair said.

"We appreciate everyone’s understanding and support through these difficult and unprecedented times," he said.