ST. PAUL, Minn. (WKBT) – Painful cries rising from Minnesota and surrounding states Friday are because the COVID-19 pandemic has caused organizers to cancel this year’s Minnesota State Fair, a rare cancellation in the history of the iconic event.
The decision to cancel the exhibition for the first time since 1946 was announced after the virtual Zoom meeting of the exhibition manager’s board.
“Now is the year when everything must really take off if we want to hold a fair, but we can see that we are off the runway and can’t go down,” General Manager Jerry Hammer said in a statement on the exhibition website.
“There won’t be a State Fair this year,” he said, which meant there were no Sweet Martha’s Cookies, no cheese curds, no turkey drumsticks and nothing you could fit on a stick.
“Like everything for the past few months, this is complicated and difficult,” Hammer said. “The State Fair is built on a vast network of farmers, vendors, artists, entertainers, competitors, entertainment operators, sponsors, State Fair staff, and thousands of others who always provide the best.”
“This will have a huge impact on thousands of businesses and tens of thousands of people whose talents, dedication and love bring justice to life,” he said. “We understand exactly what they are experiencing because we experienced the same thing.”
This decision is based on caution for the health of participants.
“Nobody knows how it will turn out at a fair time, but we need to make decisions now based on what we know today, not how we hope things will happen in August,” Hammer said. “And at this time, all of science says that if all goes well, we will continue to walk very carefully in three months.”
Anyone who has ever been in a big human hulk from elbow to elbow walking on the night market on a sunny day can imagine it is impossible to maintain physical distance.
“Can you imagine standing six feet apart in line for a cake?” Hammer said. “Neither do I.”
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