2020 North Idaho State Fair canceled amid COVID-19 concerns

North Idaho State Fair

COEUR d’ALENE, Idaho — The 2020 North Idaho State Fair has been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.

The Fair Board says they received strong recommendations from health officials to cancel the Fair and Gem State Stampede after months of planning. They put the decision to a vote over email, where they decided to cancel the popular event.

The Board says they were concerned by the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in Kootenai County—especially problematic when 2019’s fair drew in nearly 100,000 in just five days.

“Safety of our fair family and community as well as the financial future of the fair were our top priorities in coming to this incredibly heartbreaking decision”, said State Fair GM Alexcia Jordan.

According to the Fair Board, they had worked with health officials to put together a plan to hold the fair, but they say Governor Little’s plan to stay in Stage 4 of the state’s reopening plan complicated their plan.

“We can only plan for the moment we are in, not for what we hope it will be 60 days from now,” said Jordan. “We held on as long as we could. It takes a complex network of businesses, organizations, and people to coordinate a fair of this magnitude. We needed to make decisions to move forward today knowing those decisions would find success in August. We are grateful to our amazingly generous community for their continued support and their understanding of this incredibly hard situations we are all in.”