No fair! California cancels its state fair and O.C.’s fair follows follows suit


California, still deep in the fight to fend off the coronavirus, has canceled its state fair, which was to run July 17-Aug. 2 in Sacramento.

Organizers of the California State Fair and Food Festival said Friday that the event, which goes back 166 years, would resume in 2021. The event typically employs about 800 seasonal workers and last year drew more than 600,000 visitors. Organizers said pandemic health risks were too great to go on.

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Cal Expo‘s general manager and chief executive, Rick Pickering, said in a statement that the event’s venue, Cal Expo, is already part of the fight against the virus, “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.”


Several of the state’s county fairs are likely to face similar reckonings in days ahead, and a few have already canceled.

  • In Del Mar, site of the San Diego County Fair, organizers announced April 14 the cancellation of the 2020 San Diego County Fair. It would have run June 5-July 5.

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  • The Los Angeles County Fair, scheduled for Sept. 4-27 at the Fairplex in Pomona, remains on the books. Many earlier events at the venue have been canceled.

The Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival went on as scheduled in February during the early stages of the pandemic in California and drew 253,302 visitors, organizers reported.