2020 Ohio State Fair canceled due to coronavirus

The 2020 Ohio State Fair is canceled due to concerns about spreading the coronavirus if 900,000 visitors were permitted to attend the multi-day event, said Virgil Strickler, general manager.

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“I had to make a decision,” said Strickler, who has been involved in the state fair for 28 years. “I love the Ohio State Fair and I don’t want anything bad happening to it or to our visitors.”

The fair was scheduled to open in 69 days but Strickler and his team needed to decide now whether to go forward, he said.

The fair features food and game vendors, amusement rides, music concerts, bands, choirs, craft and cooking competitions, 4-H shows and livestock contests and more.

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The very first planned state fair was canceled in September 1849 due to an outbreak of Asiatic cholera. The fairgrounds superintendent, Darius Lapham, died of the disease. The first Ohio State Fair was held in October 1850 in Cincinnati and drew about 25,000 people. It has been held at its current site in Columbus since 1886.

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