Following the official announcement Monday (June 22) that this year's incarnation of the Central Washington State Fair was canceled due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, I decided to do some sleuthing to see how many other times that has happened. Turns out, more than you might think.

Google Earth
Google Earth

The CWSF was established in 1892 with its inaugural four-day run.

After 37 years in operation, the CWSF had no funds as the state legislature did not provide an operating budget and the fair, for the first time, was canceled in 1931 and again in 1932. Stands to reason I suppose as America was just entering in what is now infamously known as The Great Depression. Public monies for fairs wasn't probably high on the agenda.
The Fair was held again  from 1932 through 1936 but were not considered a success. The State Legislature subsequently abolished it and none were held in 1937 or 1938.

Following thosee two years the fair was defunct, a couple of folks attempted to resurrect it. According to the fair's official history, "April 13, 1939, a group of 45 persons representing agriculture, livestock breeders, and business, met to discuss the possibility of holding a fair in Yakima. The State Fairgrounds were available as they had had little use since 1936 and this group of people tentatively decided to hold a fair that year. One week later the group met again and voted to hold a fair on September 28, 29, and 30 to be held in conjunction with the State 4-H Fair which owned a corner piece of property on the State Fairgrounds."

The next three years were very successful and expanded to four-day events. Then, a "date which will live in infamy" (Dec. 7, 1941) occurred thrusting the United States into World War II. In July of 1942, then Washington State Governor Arthur B. Langlie asked that all fairs be cancelled while the war effort continued through 1945 following V-J Day thus causing a four-year gap in CWSF history.

The fair returned again in 1946 and has continued to grow into its current 10-day long format uninterrupted for the last 74 years. Until now.

Damn you, coronavirus.

We look forward to starting another decades-long run of a great tradition here in Central Washington and we can't wait!

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