2020 Central Washington State Fair canceled
YAKIMA, Wash. — The 2020 Central Washington State Fair has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Central Washington State Fair Association’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to cancel the this year’s fair during a meeting this month. The fair had been scheduled for Sept. 25 through Oct. 4.
“It was with a heavy heart that our Board of Directors voted to cancel this year’s Fair. We understand the magnitude of disappointment, but the health and safety of our community takes precedence in this time of crisis,” said Dave Hargreaves, Board Chair.
The fair has only been canceled seven times in its 128 -year history.
For months, organizers have been monitoring the pandemic situation and working with the Yakima Health District and other agencies to determine if the fair could go on.
“With Yakima County still in Phase 1 and the COVID-19 outbreaks increasing, the improbability that mass gatherings like the Central Washington State Fair could safely and responsibility take place this Fall were imminent,” said Kathy Kramer, President and CEO. “Even if things improved drastically, we still needed adequate time to plan and that has quickly run out.”
The annual Fair is the largest revenue generator for State Fair Park.
“Not having this year’s Fair will mean a $4 million revenue loss for the organization,” said Kramer. “As a self-funded 501(c)(3) nonprofit, we depend almost entirely on our operating revenues to support our year-round operations and this will have an impact. The absence of this year’s Fair will also have a significant impact on our partners as well. Our hearts go out to the hundreds of businesses and thousands of people whose talent, dedication and love bring the Fair to life. We understand exactly what they are going through because we are going through the same thing.”
In anticipation of the possibility that this year’s fair might not happen, fair officials began planning alternative options.
“We knew we wanted to bring the community some element of the fair in a safe and responsible manner,” Kramer said. “A drive through ‘Fair Food Fest’ is being planned for September 17 – 20th. The drive through experience will include a canned food drive, a car selfie station, entertainment and some favorite fair foods all from the safety of your car.”
Within the next few weeks more details regarding the “Fair Food Fest” will be available on the Fair’s website, www.fairfun.com.
“Mark your calendars to join us in September to enjoy some of your favorite fair foods,” said Kramer.