“The news about canceling the State Fair of Texas is sad for many reasons. Personally, I have been going to the Fair every year since I was old enough to walk. My Dad would take my sister and I and we would come home with baby chicks (who often turned into roosters disturbing all the neighbors) baby ducks, who found their long term home at Turtle Creek, gold fish, teddy bears and more.
As I became old enough to go with friends from school, we would save up our money for weeks so we would have enough to ride the rides, buy food and play games. It is always so magical to be there and now with the Dart rail dropping you off at the main entry gate it is even better. The saddest part is how many people will not be employed for this bigger than life yearly event.
I also think about the North Texas Food Bank and their annual Wednesday can drive for a reduced ticket. I am sure it is a major food drive for them and at a time when more people than ever are in dire need of food. As my Mom use to say, “this too shall pass” the big question is when and certainly not in time to recoup some of our favorite fall activities.”-Mary Beth Harrison, Dallas Native Team
Citing the surge of coronavirus cases across North Texas, fair officials voted to cancel the event for the first time since World War II.
The State Fair of Texas, which has been canceled only eight times during its 134 years, and even then primarily because of two world wars, will not take place during 2020, fair officials announced Tuesday.
The reason, of course, is a global pandemic that continues to spread like wildfire throughout the United States, with cases in Texas rising.
“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,” Gina Norris, board chair for the State Fair of Texas, said in a statement. “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.”
Texas has suffered more than 210,000 confirmed cases, and across the state, more than 2,700 people have died from COVID-19. In the U.S. as a whole, there have been more than 3 million confirmed cases and more than 133,000 deaths.
“I love the State Fair of Texas,” Mayor Eric Johnson said in a statement, “and I am saddened that I will not be able to take my family this year. But the State Fair made the safe and responsible decision. COVID-19′s spread is rampant in our community, and public health must come first. We all have to do what it takes to slow this virus so we can save lives and livelihoods and get back to doing what we enjoy.”
The fair was canceled in 1918, near the end of World War I, to make way for a military encampment; from 1935 through 1937, when the Texas Centennial Exposition and the Pan American Exposition took over; and from 1942 through 1945, during World War II, when the fairgrounds morphed into a housing unit for American armed forces.
For Dallas, the loss of the fair carries with it a devastating economic impact. Based on a 2017 study conducted by the University of North Texas, the fair delivers an annual economic impact of $410 million to $499 million, making it one of the premier events in the nation. By comparison, the Super Bowl has in recent years delivered to the host city an economic impact of about $400 million.
Last year alone, the fair drew 2,514,637 people during its nearly monthlong run, and it’s not uncommon on peak days for the fair to draw more than 200,000 people.
11:21 AM on Jul 7, 2020 — Updated at 12:04 PM on Jul 7, 2020