Iowa State Fair will not be held this year

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The Iowa State Fair will not take place in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, making it the last of the four largest midwestern state fairs to cancel. Minnesota, Wisconsin and Indiana have already done so.

According to the Des Moines Register, the decision on the 11-day event had to be made by June 15 to gives fair and partners adequate time to prepare. The decision was officially announced Wednesday. The 16-member fair board who reached the decision includes the state’s Secretary of Agriculture, Governor and Lt. Governor.

“The Iowa State Fair is a celebration of everything Iowan; bringing the best in agriculture and entertainment together each August for the past 165 years,” Iowa State Fair CEO Gary Slater wrote online. “COVID-19 continues to offer us challenges, but it has also shown us unbelievable strength and kindness.”

The fair will still consider hosting 4-H events in August.

Nebraska, South Dakota and Kansas will all move forward with their state fairs in some capacity. The Iowa State Fair has not been canceled since WWII and has not been held just five times in its 165-year history.