The Iowa State Fair has fallen victim to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the first time since World War II, the August tradition in Des Moines has been canceled. The fair board met Wednesday afternoon to discuss the future of this year's fair. The decision was announced shortly after 3 PM by Fair Board President Dave Hoffman of Le Mars.

"The decision was 11-2 to postpone the fair until 2021. The action is carried. The 2020 Iowa State Fair is postponed," Hoffman said.

The vote comes less than two months before the fair was supposed to start. The year's fair was scheduled to run Aug. 13-22.

It marks only the sixth time the Iowa State Fair has been cancelled in its 165-year history. Organizers canceled the event in 1898 because Omaha was hosting the World's Fair at the time. The Iowa State Fair also went on hiatus from 1942-1945 during World War II.

"The decision is pretty monumental," Hoffman said. "Sorry to report that, but it is what it is."

Last year, the 2019 Iowa State Fair set a record with more than 11.7 million visitors attending the fair. Attracting more than one million people each year since 2002, the Iowa State Fair ranks as one of the most-popular fairs in the nation.

The Iowa State Fair is scheduled to return next year. The planned dates are Aug. 12-22, 2021.

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