Kandiyohi County Fair canceled for 2020 because of COVID-19

Calling it a "heartbreaking decision," the Kandiyohi County Fair Board announced that it is canceling the August fair out of safety concerns with the coronavirus.

The ferris wheel lights up the night sky Wednesday evening on opening day of the Kandiyohi County Fair in Willmar. Erica Dischino / Tribune

WILLMAR — The Kandiyohi County Fair will not be held this year.

Calling it a “heartbreaking decision,” the Kandiyohi County Fair Board announced Thursday that because of the “current conditions and uncertainties of COVID-19 restrictions,” canceling the annual August event at the Willmar fairgrounds was the “best decision” for everyone involved with the fair.

This would have been the 120th Kandiyohi County Fair.

“While canceling the fair was not an easy decision, the board agrees it is the right thing to do,” according to the news release . “Our priority is the safety and health of our community, volunteers, vendors, carnival, 4-H and FFA youth and our exhibitors.”

The board said making the decision now, rather than waiting until later in the season, would make it easier for vendors, exhibitors, carnival workers and volunteers to plan.


“We know this announcement is upsetting for our supporters and participants who look forward to the Kandiyohi County Fair,” the board said in the news release. “It is also unimaginable for the Fair Board members as well.”

In their statement, the board said that physical distancing and frequent sanitizing currently required during the COVID-19 pandemic will not change in enough time to give the community a “meaningful and enjoyable fair experience.”

The board said the 2021 fair will be held Aug. 11-14.

Carolyn Lange is a features writer at the West Central Tribune. She can be reached at or 320-894-9750
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