Northern Wisconsin State Fair postponed until 2021

Published: Jun. 1, 2020 at 6:33 PM CDT
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Since the late 19th century, the Northern Wisconsin State Fair in Chippewa Falls has served as an important event on the summer calendar.

For the first time ever, the event will not take place this year. It was a move Northern Wisconsin State Fair executive director Rusty Volk didn't want to make.

“It really hurts, it brings tears to my eyes,” Volk says. “The decision to move the 2020 Northern Wisconsin State Fair to 2021 was one of the most difficult decisions that any fair manager or any staff and fair board would ever have to make.”

The postponement of the Northern Wisconsin State Fair is a first in its nearly 123 year history. In a statement sent out Monday, organizers say the decision was made in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Volk says canceling the fair also deals a large economic blow to the Chippewa Valley.

“In 2019 the Northern Wisconsin State Fairgrounds, that includes the fair and all the events, had a $12 million dollar economic impact into our region. That is a lot of money.”

In place of a live fair this year, a virtual tribute will be held. However, Monday's statement also included a call for donations, aimed at "keeping the fair tradition alive.” The next Northern Wisconsin State Fair is now set for July 7-11 of 2021. Volk says all of the entertainment slated for this year has agreed to come back, along with a few surprises.

“We have two rides this year that have never been out,” Volk says. “They are brand new and they were going to be at the Northern Wisconsin State Fair this year, they'll be there in 2021.”

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