Kansas State Fair canceled amid pandemic concerns

photo by: Peter Hancock

Crowds file past food stands at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018.

HUTCHINSON — The Kansas State Fair Board voted Monday to cancel this year’s fair amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Its reversal came a week after the board initially voted to continue with the fair, sparking concern from vendors and the community about the COVID-19 pandemic, The Hutchinson News reported.

“We appreciate the thoughtful consideration you gave to open the fair as safely as possible. After that, we heard from a number of vendors who were genuinely concerned,” Kansas State Fair general manager Robin Jennison said.

About half of the vendors had canceled amid worries about delays with travel quarantines, difficulties in putting crews together and cancellations of other fairs.

Texas, Oklahoma and Nebraska canceled their fairs shortly after the board’s decision last week.

Jennison said last week that it was beginning to appear the fair would be financially worse off going forward than not having it. The organization cannot operate in the red.

The board is still interested in finding a way to safely hold livestock and 4H events.

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