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Oklahoma State Fair Canceled Due To COVID-19, A $100 Million Economic Impact Hit


The 2020 Oklahoma State Fair has been cancelled due to public health concerns around COVID-19.

The unanimous vote happened Friday morning after months of Zoom call discussions by the fair’s board of directors.

Scott Munz, an Oklahoma State Fair spokesperson, says rising COVID-19 cases and uncertainty about the future led to the decision.

"The emotions delayed the decision that should have been made maybe a while ago but necessitated the decision now," Munz said. "And you know, we just feel we need to do what we can to mitigate the spread of the virus."

Munz says the fair has about a $100 million economic impact in Oklahoma. Last year, approximately 900,000 people attended. The next state fair will happen in 2021.

Also on Friday, Linde Oktoberfest Tulsa announced it would not take place this October, due to increasing concerns over the coronavirus.

"Our paramount concern has always been the safety and well-being of our festival-goers, entertainers, vendors, volunteers and sponsors," Ashley Webb, chairman of the board of trustees, said in a written statement. "Despite our best efforts, we have been unable to overcome the current realities of this pandemic."

The event has taken place every year since 1979 and typically hosts around 60,000 people over a five-day period.

Earlier last week, Norman Music Festival announced it also would not take place in 2020. The festival had previously moved the April event to August.

"We were optimistic and hopeful that the postponement from April to August would allow us to safely present the festival this year, and we are disappointed that we don't feel that we are able to do so, after all," the festival posted in a written statement.

The annual music festival has operated in downtown Norman every year since 2008 and typically hosts around 100,000 people over a three-day period.

Seth Bodine was KOSU's agriculture and rural issues reporter from June 2020 to February 2022.
Ryan LaCroix is the Director of Content and Audience Development for KOSU.
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