There will be no Oklahoma State Fair this year.
Officials confirmed today that the 114-year-old event will not push through due to the coronavirus health crisis. The Oklahoma State Fair’s Board of Directors said the decision to cancel was a prudent one to ensure the health and well-being of everyone involved and mitigate the potential spread of infection.
In a news release, Oklahoma State Fair President & CEO Timothy J. O’Toole said the cancellation, the first time since the fair opened on October 5, 1907, “will be felt far beyond the loss of our annual celebration”.
“We are tremendously saddened for the businesses, large and small, that rely on the income and exposure that the state fair brings them each year. We are also heartbroken for our staff, who have worked so diligently on planning for this year’s fair; the competitors and exhibitors, who take part in our various creative arts, horse and livestock events; and of course, the general Fairgoers who look forward to attending the fair each year,” he said.
Fair organizers earlier reached out to event partners, other state fairs, state and local officials, public health agencies, as well as other national touring acts before making their decision. The officials believe they have chosen the proper course of action, noting that the Oklahoma State Fair wants to do its part for community health and safety.
Disney On Ice, another popular attraction at the state fair, earlier announced its cancellation.
O’ Toole, for his part, is hopeful that things will be better next year. He said he is already looking forward to next year’s celebration.
“Until then, stay safe, be well, and support each other. We look forward to welcoming you back to the Oklahoma State Fair in 2021,” O’Toole concluded.