HUTCHINSON -- The Kansas State Fair is a place for making unforgettable memories - a celebration of everything we are proud of in Kansas.
While this year’s Fair will be different than previous years, fairgoers will still have many of the same experiences that makes the Fair special - including the music, the entertainment, the livestock and, yes, the food.
The Kansas State Fair Board voted Tuesday to continue plans for the 2020 Fair with modifications. The board thoroughly reviewed all options to create a safe environment and carefully considered current health guidelines. The Fair staff presented the board with a plan outlining changes for the safety and health those attending.
This year’s Fair is Sept. 11-20.
“This decision has been complex and difficult,” said Fair Board President Harmon Bliss. “We have explored countless ideas and plans to open the 2020 Kansas State Fair. Our top priority is to protect the health and safety of our employees, our vendors, our fairgoers and our community while continuing a tradition that also generates millions of dollars for the Kansas economy.”
The first official Kansas State Fair was held in Hutchinson in 1913. For 107 uninterrupted years, the Fair has been the state’s largest gathering of Kansans. Not even the Spanish flu or World Wars could halt the annual end-of-summer rite.
The Fair contributes an estimated $74.6 million to the Kansas economy annually, according to a 2018 report by the Kansas Department of Agriculture. The economic impact in the Fair’s 60-mile radius is more than $40 million.
Changes for this year include:
- Mandatory face coverings in buildings and other specified areas.
- One-way directional lanes in buildings.
- Requirements for the handling of food and condiments.
- Midway guidelines.
- Show ring safety measures for livestock competitors.
- Purchasing tickets during the Fair will be limited to certain gates to reduce interaction and contact. Fairgoers are encouraged to buy tickets online and at Dillons at discount.
The entire plan will be posted on the Fair’s website - kansasstatefair.com.
“Over the next several weeks, we will fine-tune our plan for opening the 2020 Fair,” said General Manager Robin Jennison. “We know the Fair will look different. However, the underlining mission will never waver. The Kansas State Fair will continue to celebrate and showcase the best of Kansas. After all, the Kansas State Fair is not just an event. It is tradition. It is a way of life. It is a showcase of the best of Kansas.