The State Fair of Texas will not open for the 2020 season after "extensive consideration of the current landscape related to the COVID-19 pandemic."
The State Fair of Texas, which takes place every year in Dallas, made the official announcement on their website.
"With a heavy heart, we are announcing that the State Fair of Texas will not open for the 2020 season. We believe the spirit of the Lone Star state lies in every Texan’s ability to care and look out for their neighbor and it is with this in mind, we have decided to keep our guests, staff, and partners safe and healthy during these uncertain time," the statement said."We look forward to giving y’all a great big Howdy in 2021."
The State Fair of Texas Board of Directors voted to cancel the 2020 State Fair of Texas.
“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.”
The announcement also said 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.
"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. We will share those details as soon as we know more."
University of Oklahoma's Vice President and Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione issued a statement after the fair was canceled.
“We understand and respect the decision made by the State Fair of Texas and acknowledge that it was an extremely difficult one," Castiglione said in the release. "Our hope remains that we can play the OU-Texas game at the Cotton Bowl, but obviously every aspect of our season requires constant monitoring and planning. The best thing all of us can do at this time is closely follow CDC guidelines to reduce the spread of the virus."
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).
The 2021 State Fair of Texas is scheduled to run Friday, September 24 through Sunday, October 17 in Fair Park.