FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — During Gov. Andy Beshear's Thursday press conference, Gov. Beshear and Kentucky State Fair Board Chairman Steve Wilson announced that the 2020 Kentucky State Fair will be limited to participants only.
The Kentucky State Fair is still set to be held August 20-30 at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville.
"Through consultations with public health officials, the fair board determined that limiting the fair to participants only was a necessary step to prevent a surge in COVID-19 cases," Gov. Beshear said. "It is a decision I fully support and one that we were in consultation on."
Gov. Beshear also noted the importance of agriculture in Kentucky, which played a role in making sure the state fair still occurred in 2020 while many other states canceled their state fairs.
"Agriculture is one of the state's leading and most vital industries, contributing about $45.6 billion to Kentucky's economy," Gov. Beshear said. "So this is a way to highlight it, even if it is different, even if it is scaled down this year, we are making sure that we are keeping that most important part of highlighting our farmers, our entire agriculture community, something that is so critical here in the Commonwealth."
Face masks will be required by all participants. Employees that handle cash payments will be required to wear gloves. Lot A exhibits, Midway concerts, entertainment and food vendors will also not be featured in the fair. Only credentialed participants will be allowed in Freedom Hall and Broadband Arena.
"We are proud that we are having the fair, but obviously the health and safety of our community is upper-most in our minds," Wilson said. "We're just delighted that we are at least going to have the horse show and the livestock contestants for the 4-H and the FFA kids."
More information on the Kentucky State Fair's plan can be found here.