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Missouri State Fair plans return to traditional events

Missouri State Fair plans return to traditional events

Missouri State Fair

The Missouri State Fair is planning on returning to a traditional event this August after last year’s fair featured only youth livestock shows and youth exhibits. 

After a scaled back fair in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Missouri State Fair is planning on returning to a traditional event this year for its 119th iteration, scheduled for Aug. 12-22 in Sedalia.

Last year, the fair was only youth livestock shows and youth exhibits in the 4-H building, along with a reduced amount of food vendors. On March 22, organizers announced this year’s State Fair will have a complete lineup of livestock shows and competitive exhibits, concerts, motorsports events, rodeo, vendors and special events, as well as the carnival midway.

“We are looking forward with confidence and with hope that the traditional fair you have come to know and love will take place this August,” fair director Mark Wolfe said. “We are planning an event that is steeped in tradition, along with bringing new and exciting things to experience during your visit.”

In a news release, fair officials said they will continue to work with health officials to monitor the coronavirus pandemic status and “make modifications as necessary” in preparation for the fair in August.

“The safety of our guests and staff is of utmost importance to us,” Wolfe said. “As we move forward with planning for the fair we will be reviewing our cleaning and sanitizing protocols, along with the addition of more hand sanitizing and washing stations across the fairgrounds.”

Last year, as the pandemic unfolded, in July the fair announced it would cancel non-youth livestock events, including grandstand events and midway activities, but the livestock shows and youth exhibits went on as the 118th Missouri State Fair.

The fair did not advertise for people to come or charge admission, but gates were open and people were able to attend the shows. According to a release, the decision on last year’s fair was made in collaboration with Gov. Mike Parson and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

The 2021 State Fair will also feature celebrations of Missouri’s bicentennial, with special activities, exhibits and entertainment relating to the event. Fair officials say they will release additional information about this year’s fair as the event gets closer.

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Ben Herrold is Missouri field editor, writing for Missouri Farmer Today, Iowa Farmer Today and Illinois Farmer Today.

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