Despite the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, Maryland State Fair general manager Andy Cashman confirmed that this annual summer staple will in fact take place this year.
“If you were to ask me this a month ago, I would probably say it’s a 50/50 chance of having the fair or not having the fair,” Cashman said. “But we’ve kind of waited to see what’s happening, what state the state’s in, and what the governor’s directive is.”
Gov. Larry Hogan lifted some restrictions as the state moved into Phase 2 of reopening earlier this month. The new regulations allow for things like amusements to operate at limited capacity.
Cashman explained that State Fair organizers also took cues from the still-scheduled Delaware and West Virginia state fairs. These (Other states, including Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Ohio, which have all cancelled their state fairs.)
The Maryland State Fair’s carnival rides, food stands, livestock exhibitions and other attractions routinely draw thousands of people over the course of the near week-and-a-half that it’s open. For those concerned about the crowds, Cashman insisted that organizers are working on different measures to ensure safety this summer.
For instance, they won’t be doing the popular infield concerts. They’re also planning to create teams that will wipe surfaces down and structure lines to create distance between individuals. The status of other popular activities, like the horse races and rides, remain in flux.
“Right now, it looks like things are going very well for us in Maryland, but other places are having recurring spikes, so we just got look forward and see where we are,” Cashman said.
This year’s Maryland State Fair is scheduled to take place Aug. 27 through Sept. 7 at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium. If it takes place, the 2020 festival will continue an annual tradition that hasn’t been broken since World War II.