Coronavirus continues to claim event after event in East Texas.

Each fall thousands of families descend upon the fair grounds in Tyler to have some old fashioned family fun on the carnival rides, to win prizes at the midway games, check out the livestock that students have groomed for the show, enjoy the many arts and crafts that have been created by East Texans along with the exhibits and sounds of the fair. Unfortunately that is not going to happen this year.

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East Texas State Fair President and CEO John Sykes issued a statement via the fair's website saying this years' fair has been canceled due to growing concerns with the coronavirus in East Texas. The East Texas Fair dates back to 1912 and the only other time they had to cancel the festivities at the fair grounds was during World War II. Sykes says in his letter to fair patrons,

The Fair’s staff, volunteers and Board of Directors have worked tirelessly to put a plan into place to host the 2020 Fair. Frankly, we have a great plan. What has not cooperated are the current circumstances related to COVID-19. The trend needed to improve by now.

As a result, in the interest of safety and health of all our partners, guests and staff, the 2020 East Texas State Fair will not happen.

The extremely difficult decision was made by the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors because we care about our people and because we can no longer efficiently get all the moving parts into position by September. The East Texas State Fair is a mammoth event requiring extensive planning, contracting and reservations. Borrowing a quote from our friends at the Minnesota State Fair, we are out of runway."

Plans are already underway for next year's event, which is scheduled for September 24, 2021.

This cancellation follows the cancellation of Gilmer's annual Yamboree festival along with the Texas Rose Festival in Tyler in October.