While announcing the State of Missouri will receive $66 million dollars for child care assistance and $1.5 million dollars for food bank assistance Governor Parson also addressed the status of the Missouri State Fair this summer.

According to KMBC Parson says it's too early to say whether the Missouri State Fair will happen or will be cancelled. The television station reports Parson said there will be a "Plan A" and a "Plan B" for the fair, or perhaps a truncated version of the event. He expects discussions on the fair to happen next month.

KMBC quotes Parson as saying:

But again, I don't think there's anything in concrete until we get a little closer to the first of June, see where we're headed in the state.. “I don't want to be misleading – again, we're under social guidance for this 30 days – but outside is probably one of the better places to be. So as long as you do the social distancing, we keep the common sense in mind, I think all those things are fair.

At this point I agree with Governor Parson that it's too early to cancel the fair, and also really too early to even see what the fair will look like. There's too many questions at this point that don't have answers. There's an awful lot of questions too:

  • Will those who enter livestock in fair competitions want to bring their families and live stock to a state fair? Will they feel safe doing that?
  • Can the state fair pull of a concert series? Whose going to tour? Will there be any restrictions on crowds? If there are restrictions how will that effect attendance? How will that impact the fair's bids on bringing potential shows to the fair? Will that drive up the ticket costs? How does all this impact the fair's bottom line?
  • What about vendors? How does the COVID-19 pandemic effect everyone involved in food service, concessions, all the fun things the fair offers? It's not just what's happening in August. It's what's already happened and what could happen in May, June and July leading up to the fair that can impact this.
  • Is the amusement company going to be up, out and staffed?
  • Are people who usually attend the fair going to want to attend this year? Even if they want to attend, how will the financial impacts of COVID-19 influence their decision to go or stay home?

I can't even tell you if I think the fair staff and the State of Missouri will even know the answers to some of these questions when they have to make a decision on whether or not the fair's a go.

At this point nothing's a lock. The only thing I can tell you is: If the fair is a go. And people come. It might be just the shot to the economy that Sedalia and the surrounding community needs to help it move beyond a frustrating spring for many local businesses. It might not be a bad way to wrrap up the summer either.




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