It’s looking like the Kansas State Fair won’t be happening this year after all.
Fair authorities are preparing to recommend that Kansas join other regional states in skipping similar events this year.
Plans to hold the annual event had centered on safety measures to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19. However, authorities decided current trends make it unlikely the fair would be financially viable this year after numerous vendors told organizers they wouldn’t be participating.
The state fair contributes an estimated $74.6 million to the Kansas economy annually, according to a 2018 report by the Kansas Department of Agriculture. The economic impact in the Fair’s 60-mile radius is more than $40 million.
If cancelled, it would be the first time in over 100 years there has not been a Kansas State Fair.
The first official Kansas State Fair was held in Hutchinson in 1913. For 107 uninterrupted years, the Fair has been the state’s largest gathering of Kansans. Not even the Spanish flu or World Wars could halt the annual end-of-summer rite.
This year’s Kansas State Fair is scheduled Sept. 11-20.