Growing up in Houston, Texas, the concept of “State Fair” wasn’t one I could relate too. It was held in Dallas and at 5 hours away by car, it might as well have been held in Guam. We had the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and that pretty much covered all those bases for us.
It wasn’t until I went to college in Waco that I became familiar with The State Fair of Texas, one of the largest such fairs in the country. When I would tell people I’d never heard of the State Fair, much less been to it, they looked at me like I was from Mars.
Living and working in Central Texas over the next five years, I came to learn how important not just the State Fair of Texas was to people, but county and local fairs as well (again, a foreign concept in Houston).
Last month, it was announced that the Covid-19 Pandemic had claimed the 2020 State Fair of Texas as one of its victims as it was called off. And now, this hits a little closer to home as the 2020 North Carolina State Fair has been canceled. Canceled for the first time since World War II.
We know so many people that attend this annual event with the same family and friends every year. It is a point of pride and joy on their calendars. And this year, it’s just another example of “What could/should have been” in 2020.
State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said, “We have hoped, we have prayed and we have thought and thought and thought but at the end of the day, it’s the only logical decision that we could make.” The 2020 NC State Fair was scheduled to happen October 15-25 at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh.
According to Troxler, research showed that 65 percent of people who previously attended the state fair would be hesitant to attend during a pandemic. The fair is the biggest annual event in North Carolina. There have been nearly 18 million people in attendance over the past ten years.
Sigh. See ya in Raleigh in 2021.