SPRINGFIELD – The state announced Friday that the 2020 Illinois and Du Quoin State Fairs will be cancelled this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Illinois joins Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin and other states in canceling the annual gathering of livestock displays, entertainment and food. The Department of Agriculture is arranging a virtual Junior Livestock Show in September. Exhibitors ranging in age from 8 to 21-years-old will be able to show their animals.
In a press release, Governor J.B. Pritzker says the decision was difficult.
“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,” says Pritzker. “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.”
The state says the Illinois and Du Quoin State Fairs attracted more than 600,000 visitors last year. After the State Fair in Springfield concludes, the Du Quoin State Fair takes place in Southern Illinois.
Next year, the Illinois State Fair will run from August 12-22, 2021. The Du Quoin State Fair will run August 27-September 6, 2021.
The State Fair has been canceled before during war times: in 1862 due to the Civil War and in 1942-1945 because of World War II.