Following news that Minnesota State Fair organizers would gather Friday to determine whether or not the fair would happen this year, we now know the answer. State Fair officials announced today via their website and through a video that the 2020 Great Minnesota Get-Together is cancelled.

In a message from Minnesota State Fair General Manager Jerry Hammer on the fair’s website, he acknowledged that while this will have a powerful impact on the plans and traditions of many Minnesotans, an economic impact on things like vendors and the area tourism industry, he called this “the only decision”, despite how difficult it might have been to draw the conclusion to cancel the fair.

He went on to say:

“It’s the right thing to do. As we go through this strange summer, we’re extremely grateful for the understanding and support of everyone who makes the State Fair possible – especially the millions of fair fans from around the globe. The best thing we can all do right now is to help the world recover and heal. In the meantime, your team of State Fair pros is working hard to come back bigger, better, stronger and smarter in ‘21. We’ll see you next year at the Great Minnesota Get-Back-Together.”

On the fair’s “Answers” page, a series of questions about the fair cancellation are answered, including why the decision was made, why they didn’t want to wait any longer, and and if altering the fair dates/structure/other elements were considered to try to still hold the fair this year in some capacity.

If you already bought admission tickets, you have some options. Your ticket will still be valid for the 2021 fair, which is scheduled for August 26-September 6, 2021. You can also seek a refund, with more information available on how to do this on the fair’s website.

If you bought Grandstand tickets for this year’s fair, organizers say your concert ticket will be valid for 2021, as all shows have been postponed to next year. They say no action is required - you can just bring your ticket with you to the fair next year. If you want to seek a refund, there are details on how to do this on the fair’s website. They do say that refunds may take up to 30 days to process from the date of request. If you bought your tickets through a third party, they say you will need to contact the original seller to seek a refund.

This is only one of a handful of times the fair has ever been cancelled in the history of the event. Those instances include: 1861 and 1862 due to the Civil War and U.S.-Dakota War, in 1893 because of scheduling conflicts with the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, in 1945 due to federal government travel restrictions during World War II, in 1946 due to a polio epidemic, and, of course, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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