State of Fair of Texas canceled due to COVID-19

Big Tex at the State Fair of Texas.
Big Tex at the State Fair of Texas.(Photo credit: Kevin Brown/State Fair of Texas)
Published: Jul. 7, 2020 at 11:42 AM CDT
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DALLAS (KXII) - Officials announced Tuesday the annual State Fair of Texas will not open for the 2020 season, the first time it will not be held since World War II.

“After extensive consideration of the current landscape related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the health and safety of all fairgoers, staff, business partners, and overall community, the State Fair of Texas Board of Directors has voted to cancel the 2020 State Fair of Texas,” the fair posted on its website Tuesday morning.

“This was an extremely tough decision. The health and safety of all involved has remained our top priority throughout the decision-making process,” said Gina Norris, board chair for the State Fair of Texas. “One of the greatest aspects of the Fair is welcoming each and every person who passes through our gates with smiles and open arms. In the current climate of COVID-19, there is no feasible way for the Fair to put proper precautions in place while maintaining the Fair environment you know and love. While we cannot predict what the COVID-19 pandemic will look like in September, the recent surge in positive cases is troubling for all of North Texas. The safest and most responsible decision we could make for all involved at this point in our 134-year history is to take a hiatus for the 2020 season.”

While the State Fair of Texas is canceled for 2020, the NCAA, respective conferences, and participating universities – the University of Texas & University of Oklahoma and Prairie View A&M University & Grambling State University – will be in charge of making decisions regarding the football games that occur at Cotton Bowl Stadium during this unprecedented time of COVID-19. Should football be played this fall, the schools will be playing in the Cotton Bowl as scheduled, despite the cancellation of the 2020 State Fair.

This will be the first time since World War II that the State Fair of Texas has not opened. The State Fair of Texas has previously canceled Fairs because of World War I (1918), planning for the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition and 1937 Pan American Exposition at Fair Park (1935 – 1937), and World War II (1942 – 1945).


I am deeply saddened to announce the State Fair of Texas will not open for the 2020 season. The Fair celebrates all things Texan, and with that comes...being friendly, lending a helping hand, looking out for others, and giving a warm welcome, like my favorite, “Howdy, Folks.” This year those essential traits of being a Texan matter more than ever. We must take care of our neighbors and loved ones. The State Fair’s commitment to our nonprofit mission of promoting agriculture, education, and community involvement will continue. In addition, we commit to maintaining as many participation opportunities as possible for both livestock and creative arts - stay tuned for more updates on these contests. We have celebrated all things Texan for the last 134 years and plan on continuing this tradition next year, and for years to come. Until then, we as a Fair family, appreciate your understanding, and overall love and dedication toward the State Fair of Texas. ~Big Tex #StateFairofTX For more information, please visit COVID-19 Updates | State Fair of Texas

Posted by Big Tex on Tuesday, July 7, 2020

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