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Maryland State Fair Is Canceled for 2020

State Fair
The Maryland State Fair is canceled for 2020. Patch photo by Elizabeth Janney.

The Maryland State Fair will not go on this year. Organizers announced the decision Wednesday afternoon, around three weeks before the annual event was set to go on.

More than 500,000 people annually attend the fair, which this year was supposed to run from Aug. 27 to Sept. 7.

“Today, it is with heavy hearts that the Board of Directors, management and staff of the Maryland State Fair & Agricultural Society Inc. announce the decision to cancel the 139th Maryland State Fair,” Maryland State Fair Board Chairman Gerry L. Brewster said in a statement.

The only other time the fair has been canceled was during World War II when the U.S. Army was using the property, according to organizers.

News of the cancellation comes five months after the state’s first coronavirus cases were reported and a week after Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) said 21% of people who contracted the virus reported participating in outdoor events. As of Wednesday, state health data showed more than 92,000 Marylanders have contracted the infection since March.

“We have diligently tracked information, trends and options for dealing with these unprecedented public health issues,” Maryland State Fair General Manager Andy Cashman said in a statement. “This decision was not made lightly.”

One component of the fair will still be happening but not open to the public. Youth and open class exhibitors from Maryland will be allowed to show their animals in livestock shows following all proper protocols, enabling the Maryland State Fair to fulfill its mission to showcase Maryland agriculture and provide education about the state’s agriculture industry.

“We understand that our faithful annual attendees will be disappointed,” Maryland State Fair President Donna Myers said in a statement. “We are disappointed too, but know that this decision is in the best interest and health of our vendors, exhibitors, staff and our over half a million visitors.”

Already the Maryland State Fair Board organizers say they are planning the “Best 12 Days of Summer” for next year, which is slated for Aug. 26 to Sept. 6, 2021.

To see the story by Elizabeth Janney as it originally appeared on, click here

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Maryland State Fair Is Canceled for 2020