CHIPPEWA FALLS — The Northern Wisconsin State Fair has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the event slated to return in 2021 with the same concert lineup that was scheduled for this year.

Rusty Volk, Northern Wisconsin State Fair executive director, announced the cancellation Monday, June 1, in a press release. Volk said they’ve been working with numerous health agencies, hoping to find a way to make the event happen. But, for the first time in its 123-year history, the event simply cannot go on as planned, Volk said.

“Due to the limitations placed on large public gatherings in terms of logistics, size, and first and foremost, the health and safety of our staff, volunteers, vendors, fair-goers, exhibitors and their families, we have made the very difficult decision to postpone the 2020 NWSF previously slated for July 8-12,” Volk said in a press release. “We are now working harder than ever to prepare for the 2021 NWSF scheduled for July 7-11 with this year’s main stage entertainment already locked in for the new year at the Northern Wisconsin State Fairgrounds in Chippewa Falls. As always, we are working closely with Chippewa County Health Department, City of Chippewa Falls, Chippewa Falls PD, and Fire and Emergency Services on safety and social distancing requirements for each event. Our goal is to slowly bring back events at the fairgrounds for our community to enjoy.”

However, during fair week, there will be a “virtual fair,” where people can display all their exhibits online, he said.

Like many other industries, the fair and festival industry has taken a severe financial hit because of this unprecedented pandemic, Volk said.

“To keep the fair alive, the Northern Wisconsin State Fair Association is reaching out to its community for any donations that can be made,” he said. “Thank you in advance for your consideration.”

The NWSF Office is closed to the public. To make things easier, please use email (dbaier@nwsfa.com) as a first option for any general questions on events, questions about tickets or if you are looking for a job during the 2021 NWSF. People also can also call the office at 715-723-2861 Ext 101.