HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KSNW) – The Kansas State Fair board voted to cancel the 2020 Kansas State Fair due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The motion was supported 13-0 to cancel the fair and go with staff recommendations on how to handle 4-H and FFA events.
The fair board will meet again on August 4 at 9 a.m. to discuss updates and financial costs of those events.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused multiple fairs and festivals to be canceled. Riverfest in Wichita and the Sedgwick County Fair are just some examples, and the Kansas State Fair might be next on the list.
The Kansas State Board is reconsidering their decision to host the 2020 fair and will meet Monday, July 13, to decide the fair’s fate. Leaving many vendors and their businesses up in the air.
“It’s like on pins and needles waiting to see,” said Stephanie Eckroat, executive director Kansas Dairy Commission and Association.
“We just want to have a final decision because we are less than 60 days away now,” said Eugene Hein, Owner of Grannie’s Homemade Mustard.
For 23 years, Rita and Eugene Hein have shown off Grannie’s Homemade Mustard to thousands of Kansans. Now, their plans are on pause as they await the Kansas State Fair Board to see if there will be a 2020 Kansas State Fair.
“We just kind of wish they would make up their mind because it takes us several weeks to get our product all made for the fair,” said Eugene Hein.
If the show goes on, Hein is unsure of how much mustard they should be squeezing out.
“We just don’t know how much to make. Making too much? Are we not making enough? Because it’s just us making our product.”
As for the Dairy Bar, one of the oldest vendors at the state fair, they are waiting with a hopeful but understanding mind.
“Obviously, we will be sad if it doesn’t happen, but we completely understand under the circumstances. Nobody plans for a pandemic,” said Eckroat.
If the fair happens, safety precautions will need to be addressed for all vendor booths. This is something Dairy Bar is confident about.
“We were like hey we got you covered! We did the updates. We have our own air system. We have glass. We’re just, we’re ready,” said Eckroat.
Even with precautions in place Hein is not sure how successful business can be.
“How many people will be willing to come into our building while being hot and sweaty from being outside and wearing a mask?”
The Kansas State Fair Board’s meeting to decide the fair’s fate will begin Monday, July 13, at 10 a.m.
KSN will continue to follow this story.
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