URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — The Champaign County Fairgrounds will not be as busy as they usually are this year. The Fair Board announced there will not be a 2020 gathering due to the pandemic.
“We are heartbroken as we had a great week planned for you and look forward to being back, bigger and better in 2021,” the Champaign County Fair said in a statement.
All other non-fair events at the fairgrounds are being cancelled as well. They say their decision was made with the safety of the community in mind. They are also refunding tickets to the Beach Boys and Billy Currington.
Other fairs around Central Illinois are not ready to pull the plug yet. The Coles County Fair says they have a meeting July 7 to make a decision. They hope to have some kind of event.
“Just kind of spit-balled some ideas if we don’t get opened up or the restrictions aren’t changed enough that we can’t have our fair at that normal time, we may explore moving it back later into the fall,” says board member Mitch Titus. “We’ve explored the idea of having maybe an abbreviated type fair.”
The only cancelled event so far is their Fair Queen Pageant. Titus says they are just doing the best they can.
“It may have a different look this year with everything we deal with,” says Titus. “Nobody’s ever had to deal with this before, so we’re just doing the best we can with the hand we were dealt.”
The Effingham County Fair is also hoping to have an event this year. They will meet July 1 to see if it will be possible based on how much the state has reopened.
Champaign County joins a growing list of fairs to be cancelled because of the pandemic. Sangamon, Piatt, Vermilion, and Moultrie-Douglas County announced previously they would not be having the event. Georgetown and Fisher also announced Friday their fairs were cancelled.