COVID-19 Leads To Cancelation of 2020 State Fair of Texas

close up of Big Tex
Big Tex. Photo by Kevin Brown/State Fair of Texas

Dallas – COVID-19 has claimed another victim, canceling the 2020 State Fair of Texas on Tuesday.

The annual event has been held for 134 years, providing an economic boost to the city of Dallas. Including numerous vendors and high school students who earn scholarships from the event, which was to begin Sept. 25 in Fair Park.

People who have purchased tickets and season passes to the 2020 State Fair will receive refunds, according to the state fair website.

“The State Fair of Texas greatly appreciates the support of its loyal season pass holders. Following the cancellation of the 2020 State Fair of Texas, the Fair will automatically issue refunds for those who have already purchased tickets and season passes. No further action is required on your behalf. You will automatically receive a refund in the amount of your full purchase price including order fees and shipping. Please allow 10-14 days from the date of cancellation for the refund to be processed. If you have any questions, please contact”

The State Fair of Texas has been canceled before in 1918 during World War I. Also in 1935, 1936 and 1937 during planning for the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition and Pan American Exposition at Fair Park. The last time the State Fair was canceled was from 1942-1945 during World War II.


Child eating a Fletcher corny dog at State Fair of Texas
Enjoying a Fletcher’s corny dog at State Fair of Texas

State Fair Will Return in 2021

A message from Mitchell Glieber, president of the State Fair, announced the cancellation on Tuesday.

“While this is a message we hoped to never have to send, it is with a heavy heart we must announce that after extensive consideration of the current landscape related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the health and safety of everyone involved, the State Fair of Texas Board of Directors has voted to cancel the 2020 State Fair of Texas.

“This was an extremely tough decision. This will be the first time since World War II that the State Fair of Texas has not opened. While we are heartbroken at the notion of not welcoming more than 2.5 million of our closest friends for this annual celebration of the Lone Star State, the excitement we feel in moving forward with planning the 2021 State Fair of Texas and keeping this 134-year tradition alive will keep us motivated until we can greet you again in a safe environment.

“The fair’s commitment to our nonprofit mission of promoting agriculture, education, and community involvement will continue. The Big Tex Scholarship Program, Big Tex Urban Farms, and our community outreach initiatives will carry on as normal and provide a significant impact throughout the state.”

“In addition to maintaining our nonprofit initiatives, we commit to providing as many participation opportunities as possible as it relates to livestock and creative arts activities. More information on these plans will be announced in the coming weeks,” Glieber said.

The 2021 State Fair of Texas is scheduled to run Sept. 24 through Oct. 17 in Fair Park.

Texans react to bad news

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson says the cancellation of the fair is the “safe and responsible decision.””

“I love the State Fair of Texas, and I am saddened that I will not be able to take my family this year. But the State Fair made the safe and responsible decision. COVID-19’s spread is rampant in our community, and public health must come first. We all have to do what it takes to slow this virus so we can save lives and livelihoods and get back to doing what we enjoy.”

Kristin Shaw from Austin said, “We went for the first time last year and had so much fun; my son was looking forward to going back this year. However, I think the board did the right thing for this year. Any event in which people are packed that closely together carries much more risk.”

DFW resident Brittany Clark said, “I’m upset! I knew it was bound to happen and I’m very happy they are being smart about it. But it’s been a tradition now for 4-5 years for Jacob (her husband) and I to go together! Plus this year I was going to legitimately look at the cars since I’m due for a new one in December!”