2020 Minnesota State Fair canceled amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Minnesota State Fair will not be held in 2020 due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Minnesota State Agricultural Society board of managers voted unanimously Friday to cancel the 2020 Great Minnesota Get-Together. 

“We all love the fair and that’s exactly why we can’t have a fair this year,” General Manager Jerry Hammer said during the public portion of the meeting Friday. 

Fair officials had said this year’s fair would be all or nothing. They were not considering alternate dates, shortening the duration or reducing the scale of the fair. 

With entertainers and exhibitors starting to back out, Hammer said if the fair were to have gone on as scheduled, it would not have been the same. 

“If there was to be a fair, it wouldn’t look like a normal fair at all,” he said. 

Ardent fairgoers had told officials they were willing to go to the fair no matter the risks, but Hammer said that is not what the Great Minnesota Get-Together is all about. It should be accessible to all and not just healthy people. 

“If we can’t do a fair for everybody, then we just shouldn’t do it,” he said. 

Last year's fair had record attendance with 2,126,551 people attending the Great Minnesota Get-Together over the course of 12 days. 

This the sixth time the Minnesota State Fair has been canceled in its 166-year history. The last time the fair was canceled was in 1946, at the last minute, due to a polio epidemic. 

The 2021 Minnesota State Fair, which officials are calling the Great Minnesota Get-Back-Together, is scheduled for Aug. 26-Sept. 6, 2021.