2020 Wisconsin State Fair canceled over coronavirus

NOW: 2020 Wisconsin State Fair canceled over coronavirus

WEST ALLIS, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The 2020 Wisconsin State Fair has officially been canceled over COVID-19. The official word came from State Fair officials on Thursday, May 28. 

The board of directors said it's a sad day. It's not a decision they wanted to make. 

The last time the Wisconsin State Fair was canceled was in 1945. That was during World War II. 

This year, the coronavirus pandemic has presented new challenges. 

The board says they looked at data and talked with experts in hopes of holding the 11-day event that was set for Aug. 6-16. Ultimately, due to safety concerns and restrictions regarding COVID-19, the Wisconsin tradition was canceled. 

The board says they explored all options, even holding the fair just outdoors and not have any events inside buildings. 

The popular vendor, Hot Wisconsin Cheese, says they made the right choice. 

"We couldn’t find a way to basically have every good feature of the fair, and yeah, putting together a diminished product was not something we wanted to do," said John Yingling, chairman of the board. 

"I truly believe they did the right thing," said Robert Schmidt, owner of Hot Wisconsin Cheese. "There’s just so many problems that would’ve been if they tried to do that, run the thing between trying to social distance or limit the crowd or just to clean the bathrooms.”

The owner of Hot Wisconsin Cheese says he'll lose about half of this year's revenue, but plans to set up a trailer in Plymouth, to make up for the loss. 

As for the state, it'll be about a $4 million loss. 

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