The Ohio State Fair is the latest mainstay of summer to be cancelled by the coronavirus.
The Ohio Expositions Commission voted this morning to cancel the fair, for the first time since WW II. Fair manager Virgil Strickler says trying to maintain social distancing would be too difficult.
“Even if there’s 50% of our total attendance, that’s 450,000-some people, and I just can’t justify how we could keep people apart.”
Even if the mass gathering issue could be resolved, operating the fair at half capacity wouldn't be financially feasible. Strickler says many of the vendors and performers already booked for the fair have been understanding about the cancellation. He says the commission, which has operated the fair profitably for 18 years, does have a rainy day fund to fall back on. The decision to cancel the state fair does not affect junior fairs, which are operated at the county level.