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2020 Effingham County Fair canceled
The 2021 Effingham County Fair is set for Oct. 14-23. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

SPRINGFIELD — The 2020 Effingham County Fair was canceled during a Monday night meeting of the fair committee.

Social distancing requirements caused by COVID-19 make it impossible to conduct the 77th edition of the popular attraction, which was set Oct. 15-24.

“I hate to be the one to tell the news,” Effingham County Fair Association President Grady Rahn said. “I also hate that I had to make that decision because it hurt.”

The cancellation didn’t come as a surprise. The fair has conferred with local and state health officials about the virus for months.

“The health department furnished us a packet from the CDC,” Rahn said. “When you look at that, it’s almost impossible. It didn’t have any good news in it.”

Rahn noted that the company that sets up rides and games on the Effingham County Fair midway has lost all 25 events that it had scheduled for 2020 to COVID-19. Twenty-one had been nixed by May, he said.

The 2020-21 fair is set for Oct. 14-23.