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2020 Arizona State Fair canceled due to coronavirus pandemic

(Facebook Photo/Arizona State Fair)

PHOENIX — Arizona residents will have to wait until next year to once again experience the unique traditions of the state fair.

The Arizona Exposition and State Fair Board voted Thursday to cancel the 2020 version of the fair because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The annual event was set to kick off Oct. 8.

“This has been a deeply challenging decision for everyone,” Wanell Costello, the fair’s executive director, said in a press release. “While the fun and carefree environment the State Fair provides is appreciated by the community, we know this year it’s not the right time to hold a large event.”

“The health and safety of our team, visitors and community is most important.”

Fair officials expect the event to return in 2021 and said it would start Oct. 7 and end Oct. 31.

Some elements of the 2020 fair could still be held virtually, including the livestock show and esports competition.

Fair attendance surpassed 1.2 million in 2019, the highest total seen in more than a decade.

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