Kentucky State Fair limited to participants only

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear announced Thursday that through consultation with public health officials, the Kentucky State Fair Board determined that limiting the fair to participants only was a necessary step to prevent a surge in COVID-19 cases.

The fair will feature wider aisle ways, reduced occupancy, increased hygiene accessibility and facial covering requirements. In an effort to manage crowds and social distancing, Lot A exhibits, Midway, concerts, entertainment and food vendors will not be featured in this year’s fair.

“By hosting a participant-only event, fair officials can more effectively enforce social distancing and facial covering requirements as well as gather the necessary information to perform contact tracing,” said Beshear. “I appreciate the board’s willingness to be agile, and their efforts to ensure that the health and safety of Kentuckians remains a top priority.”

The Kentucky State Fair will be held Aug. 20-30 at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville.

The World’s Championship Horse Show will be held without spectators and adhere to the U.S. Equestrian Federation COVID-19 guidelines.

“We believe the decision will allow Kentucky to continue our tradition of highlighting the state’s premiere agriculture and equestrian industry while prioritizing the health and safety of Kentuckians,” said Beshear.

“We are proud that we are having the fair, but obviously the health and safety of our community is uppermost in our minds and we’re delighted that we will at least be able to have the horse show and livestock contestants, the 4H-ers and the FFA kids,” said Steve Wilson, chair of the State Fair Board.

Agriculture is one of the state’s leading and most vital industries. There are nearly 76,000 farms in Kentucky, contributing about $45.6 billion to Kentucky’s economy each year.

For more information, visit the Kentucky State Fair’s website.