The 2020 Illinois and Du Quoin State Fairs have been canceled, Governor JB Pritzker announced on Friday June 12.
The Governor cited COVID-19 as the reason for the cancellations, which will go into effect by an executive order. The plan is for the fairs to return in 2021.
“The Illinois and Du Quoin State Fairs have been some of my favorite opportunities to celebrate our agricultural communities and the residents who make Illinois so exceptional,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “But it’s because the fairs are such a treasure to so many thousands of people that my administration, like those of our neighboring Midwestern states, must make the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 State Fairs in light of the risk posed by COVID-19. 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. 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.”
Despite the cancellations the Illinois Department of Agriculture is going to host a Junior Livestock Expo in Springfield this September. The 4-H General Project Show will take place virtually, with premiums and ribbons to be distributed by the Illinois Department of Agriculture. Details regarding entry and operations are forthcoming, according to a press release.
This is the first time the State Fair has been canceled since World War II, and the first time the Du Quoin State Fair has been canceled since the state took over the grounds.
“We know the Du Quoin State Fair is a longstanding tradition in Southern Illinois and it’s hard to fathom that it won’t be taking place, but our first priority is to keep the citizens of Southern Illinois safe,” said Josh Gross, Du Quoin State Fair Manager. “While this year’s fair will not take place, our grounds will be open for camping allowing for memories to still be made on the grounds this summer.”