Illinois State Fair canceled due to coronavirus concerns

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Gov. JB Pritzker has signed an executive order canceling the 2020 Illinois State Fair, due to concerns over the potential spread of COVID-19.

“The Illinois and Du Quoin State Fairs have been some of my favorite opportunities to celebrate our agricultural communities and the residents who make Illinois so exceptional,” said Governor JB Pritzker.

“But it’s because the fairs are such a treasure to so many thousands of people that my administration, like those of our neighboring Midwestern states, must make the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 State Fairs in light of the risk posed by COVID-19. This is the right choice based on guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health and other experts: we have to prioritize keeping our people safe. Our state fairs are unmatched across the nation, and I look forward to gathering again to showcase the best of Illinois when it is safe to do so.”

Due to the cancellations of the fairs, the Department of Agriculture will host a Junior Livestock Expo in Springfield in September, for Illinois exhibitors ages 8-21 to show their animals. The 4-H General Project Show will take place virtually, with premiums and ribbons to be distributed by the Illinois Department of Agriculture. Details regarding entry and operations are forthcoming.

The State Fair was previously cancelled from 1942-1945 due to World War II, as the fairgrounds were used as a U.S. Army Airforce supply depot. The Fair was also cancelled in 1862 due to the Civil War and was replaced in 1893 by the World’s Columbia Expo in Chicago.

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