Thanks, coronavirus: No Minnesota State Fair this year

Back in 2019, we had the Minnesota State Fair. Here's proof.

Back in 2019, we had the Minnesota State Fair. Here's proof. Mike Madison

Okay. Now summer is officially canceled.

While most major festivals have already been canceled for 2020, many Minnesotans held on to a small glimmer of hope that the Great Minnesota Get-Together would still take place. On Friday morning, that glimmer of hope was put down.

“This isn't a difficult decision,” says State Fair general manager Jerry Hammer in his official statement. “It's the only decision.”

The conclusion was reached following a meeting of the managers of the Minnesota State Agricultural Society, which governs the Minnesota State Fair. In the end, they decided that the health risks, and the challenges of keeping fairgoers safe this summer, would be too much.

“In a normal year, preparing for an event the scale and scope of the Minnesota State Fair is a year-round operation and a mammoth undertaking,” the release states. “In the midst of a global pandemic, it is impossible.”

So, it looks like we’ll have to wait a year to dine on fried cheese and delights on a stick. “We’re extremely grateful for the understanding and support of everyone who makes the State Fair possible – especially the millions of fair fans from around the globe,” Hammer says.

The Minnesota State Fair began in 1859, one year after Minnesota became a state. This year's cancellation is just the sixth in fair history.

"Since its inception, the fair has been held every year with only five exceptions," the Fair's website reads. "In 1861 and 1862 due to the Civil War and U.S.-Dakota War, in 1893 because of scheduling conflicts with the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, in 1945 due to federal government travel restrictions during World War II, and in 1946 due to a polio epidemic."

We asked yesterday whether you'd even attend the 2020 fair, and the poll results overwhelmingly said: not a chance.

The 2021 Great Minnesota Get-Together, now dubbed “the Great Minnesota Get-Back-Together,” has been scheduled for August 26 through Labor Day, Sept. 6, 2021.