2020's East Texas State Fair canceled

by From the East Texas State Fair

(July 15, 2020) TYLER, Texas -- “Have all the fun you want, we’ll make more!” has been the East Texas State Fair’s motto for many years. The Fair's organizers said while they remain committed to that theme -- and prepare every year to make a large batch of genuine, family friendly fun -- regretfully, the situation this year is unprecedented and unimaginable before now.

The Fair’s staff, volunteers and Board of Directors have worked tirelessly to put a plan into place to host the 2020 Fair.

"Frankly, we have a great plan," Fair President and CEO John E. Sykes said Wednesday, July 15. "What has not cooperated are the current circumstances related to COVID-19. The trend needed to improve by now.

"As a result, in the interest of safety and health of all our partners, guests and staff, the 2020 East Texas State Fair will not happen.

"The extremely difficult decision was made by the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors because we care about our people and because we can no longer efficiently get all the moving parts into position by September. The East Texas State Fair is a mammoth event requiring extensive planning, contracting and reservations. Borrowing a quote from our friends at the Minnesota State Fair, we are out of runway."

The Fair has been at its current location in Tyler since 1912, making this year the 105th official event. This will be the second time the Fair has been formally canceled and the first time since WW II.

"Please know we intend to remain true to our mission regarding youth and education," Sykes said. "Our scholarship pledges will continue. We expect to have another tremendous Academic Rodeo.

"So, hang on until Sept. 24, 2021, and we will be back with a well-deserved celebration. Stay safe. Stay healthy."