ALLENTOWN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The 2020 Great Allentown Fair has been canceled.
Organizers said Wednesday morning they unanimously decided to cancel the event, which was scheduled for September 1 through 7, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"We took into account all aspects that go into producing a safe premier event and ultimately the health and welfare of the thousands of local, out-of-town and out-of-state fairgoers, exhibitors, vendors and entertainers was paramount in our decision," said Beverly Gruber, president of the nonprofit Lehigh County Agricultural Society that owns and operates the fair.
The committee had been cautiously planning the fair since March, but agreed it is no longer possible to hold the event "as it is meant to be, with thousands of people enjoying its exciting atmosphere," officials said in a news release.
"We feel it's best to work toward a celebratory 2021 Fair that we will strive to make better than ever," Gruber said.
Two of the grandstand concerts have been postponed until next year's Fair: the Toby Keith with special guests Matt Stell and Laine Hardy concert is rescheduled to Thursday, September 2, 2021; the Carrie Underwood concert is rescheduled to Friday, September 3, 2021. All tickets purchased for these shows will be honored in 2021. All online ticket buyers will receive direct communication regarding their tickets. An official announcement regarding the reopening of the Fair's box office will be announced soon.
The Great Allentown Fair started in 1852 as a community celebration of agricultural achievements with entertainment and amusements of the day added.
The last time the Fair was canceled was in 1917 and 1918 when the 48-acre Allentown Fairgrounds was converted into a major mobilization and training camp for recruits into the United States Army Ambulance Service, during World War I.