Arizona State Fair postpones 2020 event

Independent Newsmedia

The Arizona Exposition & State Fair Board has decided to postpone the 2020 Arizona State Fair, according to a release Thursday afternoon.

After reviewing information from staff, seeking guidance from the Arizona Department of Health Services and analyzing all options, the board voted unanimously to postpone the event due to COVID-19.

“This has been a deeply challenging decision for everyone,” stated fair Executive Director Wanell Costello. “While the fun and carefree environment the State Fair provides is appreciated by the community, we know this year it’s not the right time to hold a large event. The health and safety of our team, visitors and community is most important.”

Despite the postponement, some fair traditions may be hosted virtually. The livestock show is accepting online entries. The Esports competition, which debuted at the 2019 Fair, has also launched with a series of virtual tournaments in partnership with the Arizona Lottery.

“As a self-funded state agency, this decision to postpone the fair is not made lightly,” stated Jonathan Lines, chairman. “In addition to providing the majority of the agency’s operating income, the Fair’s economic impact averages over $90 million annually, engages 300-plus businesses and hires 1,000-plus employees. However, safety always comes first, and we feel this is the best decision for all involved this year.”

Tentative fair dates for 2021 are Oct. 7-31.

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