Kansas State Fair Cancellation
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Kansas State Fair Cancellation

Why are we not having the Fair?

The Kansas State Fair is more than just a fair, it's a celebration of Kansas, a family tradition, a fun and exciting experience for people of all ages.

For 106 uninterrupted years, the Fair has been the state’s largest gathering of Kansans — with not even the Spanish flu or World Wars halting the annual end-of-summer rite. This will be the first time in its history that the Fair has not happened.

This makes our decision even more difficult. However, It is with heavy hearts we announce that for the safety of our fairgoers, staff, vendors, entertainers, exhibitors, sponsors, suppliers and entire community, the 2020 Kansas State Fair has been cancelled.

We know that this announcement brings up a lot of questions and concerns for a variety of reasons. This page is meant to help answer some of those questions.

General Information

Why couldn't we wait to decide?

In a typical year, preparing for an event the scale and scope of the State Fair is a year-round operation and a mammoth undertaking. While many of us have been able to pause some things over the past two months, we can’t hold off any longer. Supplies, food and equipment orders, travel plans, staffing and many more details all needed to be finalized now.

While we don’t know what September will bring, we do know that we have to make decisions based on what we know today, not what we hope the world will be like in September.

Our greatest responsibility is to ensure that the fair remains strong and resilient now and for future generations. If we continue planning, investing and purchasing what we can’t unwind, and if this ever-evolving health crisis takes a bad turn and forces our cancellation in a month or two or after we open our doors, we will have dug an immense hole that would be difficult to climb out of. This would affect our State Fair for many years. Moreover, we don’t want any of our partners, such as vendors, to be in that hole with us.

Why couldn't the Fair be postponed to later in the year?
The challenge is that the Kansas State Fair doesn’t operate in its own bubble. Our Fair is part of an intricate web of fairs and expositions across the country. Many of our vendors, exhibitors, midway operator, attractions and production equipment are a part of this web and travel from one event to another throughout the spring, summer and fall. Although many events have been canceled this year, it is logistically difficult for those who travel this circuit to crisscross the country.

Considering all of this, there are no other dates that are feasible - especially with a production the size and scope of the Kansas State Fair. We will instead move forward and prepare for the 2021 Kansas State Fair, scheduled for Sept. 10-19.

How will the Fair survive without the 2020 fair revenue?
There is no doubt that we will face challenges, like every business and organization enduring this crisis. It will be hard for everyone whose livelihood is impacted by the State Fair. That includes not just our on grounds vendors, exhibitors and others, but the hotels, restaurants, main street shops, fuel stations and so much more. Our year-round, full-time staff remains committed to all that they can do to create the longstanding tradition and celebration in 2021 that fair fans have come to expect. We’re extremely grateful for the continued support of everyone who makes the Kansas State Fair possible.

Has the Kansas State Fair ever been canceled?
No. Since its beginnings in 1913, the Kansas State Fair has operated continuously for 106 years. The Fair has made it through the Spanish Influenza and the polio epidemic. It was almost canceled in 1945 during World War II, but with the war ending that summer, Fair officials worked hard to make a September Fair happen.
How can I still support the Kansas State Fair?
A year without a fair will present challenges – not just for us, but for our numerous partners, exhibitors, vendors and more. If you’d like to support the Kansas State Fair, you can do so several different ways. You could turn some or all of your ticket purchases into a charitable contribution. This option will be available through the ticket refund form link.

If you did not buy tickets through the Fair, you can still give a tax-deductible, charitable contribution to help the tradition continue for future generations through our Kansas Fairgrounds Foundation. Donate by clicking here.

Tickets, Returns, Vendors Etc.

What do I do with my pre-purchased tickets?
Hold on to your tickets! Tickets will be valid at the 2021 Kansas State Fair (Sept. 10-19). This includes grandstand concert tickets, gate admission tickets, ticket packages, midway rides and food tickets.

Can I get a refund on my tickets?
The refund process for our concerts and gate admission lasted 30 days, ending Sept. 7, 2020.

What about my Grandstand Concert Tickets?
We rescheduled the entire 2020 Nex-Tech Wireless Grandstand entertainers for 2021. All 2020 tickets will be honored at the gate in 2021.

What will happen with State Fair livestock competitions?
While the 2020 State Fair competitions have been canceled, we are having livestock shows. More information by CLICKING HERE.

When will you start announcing information about the 2021 State Fair?
We’re chomping at the bit to get going on 2021 plans! Other 2021 plans will be announced later this fall and winter with updates really picking up in the spring and early summer. Follow our social media channels or sign up for our email newsletter to get all the latest information.

What will happen to non-fair events?
More than 500 non-fair events are held at the Kansas State Fairgrounds throughout the year. Most of these events are hosted by an outside, independent organizations. These rental clients follow the guidance of local, state and federal government agencies and health experts and will make decisions about postponing or canceling their specific events accordingly. Please contact the presenting organizations directly for status updates. To learn more about Kansas State Fair facilities and buildings CLICK HERE.

I'm a vendor - what do I do?
Commercial Exhibits Coordinator Janene Starks will be emailing each vendor about your next steps in the next few weeks. If you have questions, email her at Janene.K.Starks@ks.gov.

I'm a sponsor. What does this mean for me?
Please contact our Industry Relations Director, Connie Schmitt, at connie.schmitt@ks.gov; or Marla Parsons at marla.parsons@ks.gov.
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