Unable to continue 166-year tradition due to COVID-19 concerns
In accordance with Cal Expo’s own values and the directives issued by the Governor and California Department of Public Health, Cal Expo’s Board voted unanimously during its April 24 Board Meeting to cancel the 2020 California State Fair and Food Festival scheduled for July 17 – August 2, 2020, until 2021 due to the extensive challenges posed by the COVID-19 public health crisis.
On behalf of the Board, Cal Expo General Manager and CEO Rick Pickering issued the following statement regarding the cancellation:
“While we had remained hopeful the California State Fair would be able to continue our 166-year tradition of showcasing the best of California and entertaining the state’s residents and families, it’s clear the impact of COVID-19 will continue to be felt for the foreseeable future and that large gatherings should be postponed at this time. Based on the advice of health experts and the continued guidance issued by the governor, the Cal Expo Board has decided to cancel the California State Fair and Food Festival until 2021.
Currently, Cal Expo is playing a regional role in the effort to combat the virus, including serving as a drive-through testing site, as well as a temporary emergency isolation trailer facility for homeless individuals who have been exposed or infected.
Cancelling the California State Fair and many of the 200 year-round events hosted at Cal Expo is having a significant economic impact on Cal Expo and the region. We are sensitive to the fact Cal Expo is a regional, economic engine that generates sales tax revenue and employs over 800 seasonal workers. Our staff is working diligently on a strategy to safely reopen when appropriate and we look forward to the time when we can all gather again safely to celebrate the great things Californians have done and will do in the future.