CALIFORNIA—For the first time since World War II and the second time ever, the annual LA County Fair is going “on a hiatus” in 2020, according to a May 14 announcement by Fairplex (the company which runs the Fair).
Originally scheduled to be held from September 2-27, 2020, the Fair has been canceled due to COVID-19-caused state and county limitations on large public gatherings. It is usually located at 1101 W. McKinley Ave, Pomona. This year would have been the Fair’s 98th anniversary.
“After many discussions with our partners at LA County, we made the necessary and difficult decision of canceling the 2020 LA County Fair,” said Miguel A. Santana, President and CEO of Fairplex. “We made this decision knowing the huge financial impact it will have on our staff and hundreds of vendors, partners, artists, and entrepreneurs who rely on the Fair each year for their own livelihood.”
The Fair had previously only ever closed from 1942 to 1947 due to World War II, and on September 11, 2001 (but it reopened the next day).
“Like many of you, I grew up eagerly anticipating each year’s opening of the LA County Fair, and I cherish my family memories of this special yearly event. Unfortunately, we have had to make the difficult decision to cancel the LA County Fair due to our current public health crisis.” said the LA County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, whose district is home to the Fair. “We must make these short term sacrifices to preserve the health of the people we love. We do this to protect our communities. I am certain that once we get through this challenging time, we will come back stronger and even more appreciative of the things we love and hold dear.”
The announcement claims that around 1.1 million guests visit the LA County Fair across the 19 days that it opens annually, and that the event creates over 500 full-time-equivalent jobs. It also generates an economic impact of approximately $324 million each year in Los Angeles County, of which less than a fifth is in the City of Pomona.
The County’s Public Health Director, Dr. Barbara Ferrer reiterated Solis’s message about the importance of making sacrifices: “Our recovery journey is underway, but it will be a slow one. Working together to slow the spread of COVID-19 is our new normal for the foreseeable future. But I have faith that if we continue to make these difficult but necessary decisions now, we will be able to enjoy all that the LA County Fair has to offer next year.”
Visit www.lacountyfair.com/refunds for information on refunds. Fairplex is also canceling the rest of its self-run events in 2020, like Oktoberfest and En Memoria.
Santana ended his statement on a positive note, saying that “for nearly a hundred years, we have been the place that has celebrated the best of Southern California: our food, our music, our culture – and this is only the second time in our history that the Fair has been canceled. We hope that you are doing everything you can to ensure the safety and health of yourselves and your family.”
“Remember: we shine brighter together, and we hope to see you at the 2021 LA County Fair.”