The annual event will return in 2021.

The State Fair of Virginia, one of the Commonwealth's prized traditions, has officially been canceled due to the coronavirus. The fair was originally scheduled for September 24 to October 3, 2020, at The Meadow Event Park in Caroline County. It will return in 2021 on the same date.

The Virginia Farm Bureau Board of Directors made the difficult choice to cancel as the virus continues to spread statewide. The fair outlined the decision on their website under a "COVID-19 FAQ" page, emphasizing the inability to incorporate the necessary health precautions with the fun experience the fair is known for.

Its cancellation marks a first since World War II, and prior to that, the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic.

county fair

"We considered countless scenarios and found that a lot of these options were not only not feasible, but under the severe restrictions, the annual Fair would not be the traditional event that our community loves," the website said.

Virginia is currently in Phase 3 of its reopening plan, where under Governor Ralph Northam's orders, entertainment venues like fairgrounds and amusement parks cannot exceed 1,000 people. These limitations, combined with the logistics of enforcing safety measures on such a wide scale, would make fulfilling the event unrealistic. The fair draws historically large crowds—In 2019,  around 245,000 visitors attended the event.

pigs

The fair may not happen this year, but organizers hope to provide modified alternatives for some of the anticipated activities. Possible plans include holding a socially-distanced 4-H Livestock Show in October and selling fair food from the participating vendors. Refunds will also be distributed to vendors over the next couple of weeks.

While many largescale events have been canceled, the venue isn't completely stopping the fun. Attendees can still look forward to the holiday favorites Santa's Village and The Illuminate Light Show starting in November. You can check the fair's website for more details.

**All photos courtesy of Facebook

Are you sad the State Fair of Virginia isn't happening this year? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!