Georgia National Fair canceled due to coronavirus

Pictured: Fairgoers at a previous Georgia National Fair. The 31st Georgia National Fair has been canceled due to the coronavirus.
Pictured: Fairgoers at a previous Georgia National Fair. The 31st Georgia National Fair has been canceled due to the coronavirus.

Credit: Georgia National Fair

Credit: Georgia National Fair

For the first time in 30 years, the Georgia National Fair has been canceled.

Like the Georgia Apple Festival, Savannah Food & Wine Festival and numerous other events before it, the fair has been impacted by COVID-19.

»RELATED: Organizers cancel 2020 North Georgia State Fair

“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the 2020 Georgia National Fair is canceled,” the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter said in a Thursday Facebook post. “While there will be no fair event, the youth livestock shows will continue with a modified schedule.

“Please know this decision was not taken lightly, as we are all saddened with this being the first time in 30 years of not hosting this great event."

»RELATED: 2020 Georgia Carolina State Fair canceled

Keaton G. Walker, chief marketing & business development officer, said Fair Board members determined it wouldn’t be possible to host a fair that abides by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state regulations.

“We have looked at every factor that plays a part in what makes the Georgia National Fair great. From the rides, vendors, concessionaires, live entertainment and concerts, it is nearly impossible to make our event safe for all members involved due to the recent COVID outbreak,” Agricultural Exposition Authority Chairman Foster Rhodes said in a statement. “For 30 years we have offered a family friendly, safe environment and that is what we strive to do each year. To offer anything less would be a disservice to our patrons, fairgoers, partners, as well as the staff and those who have come to love the Georgia National Fair’s brand.”

“We have held off on making this decision as long as possible, however we have now entered into the 60 day window of the 2020 Georgia National Fair,” Rhodes continued. “With this timeline, all vendors would need an estimated 60 day notice to make appropriate plans if attending this year’s event. We feel that there is no ‘half-way’ to producing a Fair like what we are used to hosting, and because of that we have reached this unforeseen decision to cancel.”

The fair is held annually in Perry and started in 1989. The organization said it will immediately begin planning the 2021 event, which is scheduled Oct. 7-17.