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It’s officially over: Cuomo cancels 2020 New York State Fair

By Adam Rombel (


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SYRACUSE, N.Y. — In a decision that probably surprised few if any people, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday announced the 2020 New York State Fair will not happen amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“We are not going to open the State Fair in Syracuse. This is a really tough one, “ Cuomo said at a COVID-19 briefing in New York City. “This year we’re going to have to cancel it and that makes me personally very unhappy, but that is where we are.”

Earlier on Twitter, the governor said, “This one hurts — I love the State Fair. But the risk is too high to hold it this summer.”

Like nearly all events with big crowds, the New York State Fair never had much of a chance this year as the virus crisis erupted and kept going — making social distancing an imperative.

Back on April 28 in a Syracuse stop, Cuomo said the fate of the 2020 New York State Fair was contingent upon the entire state of New York being open for business, as well as coordination with neighboring states.

“Can you open the State Fair unless the entire state is at a point where it’s open? I don’t believe so,” Gov Andrew Cuomo said during his appearance at Upstate Medical University. “Breaks my heart, but [State Fair officials] can’t [open] unless it’s done statewide and unless it’s done, not just statewide, but with our neighboring states.”

State and county fairs have been cancelled all across the nation this summer.

Local reaction

Though expected, losing this year’s State Fair will be an economic blow to Central New York.

“Not a surprise … Certainly disappointed but support the decision … [It’s] another reminder that this is another economic stimulus for our region that we bank on every year that won’t be here. Certainly, we’ll see an economic impact for businesses in the local area as well as government-generating sales tax,” Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said Monday afternoon in reaction to the governor’s State Fair cancellation. “…The reality is that this year, we’re going to have a massive loss on sales tax and the businesses that usually make their living off these types of events, the hospitality industry, are going to have the worst year in their history.”





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