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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The status of the 2020 Minnesota State Fair is still up in the air due to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fair’s general manager, Jerry Hammer, said Thursday that they’re not considering pushing the fair back, shortening it or imposing significant restrictions on fair-goers.
There’s no specific date set for when they’ll decide to have it or not — and that’s making vendors apprehensive, like Giggles’ Campfire Grill owner Tim Weiss.
“Hopefully I’m going to be going on my 21st fair,” Weiss said.
The state fair is Weiss’s main gig. Even though things are still in limbo, he started prepping several days ago.
“We have about $30,000 invested right now in supplies that we’re committed to,” Weiss said.
Jason Giandalia, who owns Minnesnowii Shave Ice, says this upcoming fair would be his sixth.
“For me it feels like our version of Disney World here in Minnesota,” Giandalia said.
His state fair prep doesn’t start until July, but he’s already missing out on critical cash flow.
“Several of my fairs from May, June and July have already cancelled,” Giandalia said.
Cass County cancelled its fair in Pine River, and others are likely postponing. If cancelled, the state fair losses could be jumbo sized.
“It’s a big operation being the second-biggest vendor at the Minnesota State Fair,” Weiss said. “We did $1.9 million last year.”
Giandalia says the Minnesota State Fair alone accounts for about a third of his annual revenue.
As much as “The Great Minnesota Get-Together” is needed now more than ever, regardless of when it happens, these two will be back for more fun on-a-stick.
“I trust the fair to make the best decision for us all,” Giandalia said.
A spokesperson for Sweet Martha’s Cookie Jar gave this statement Thursday to WCCO:
As the impact of COVID-19 continues to evolve, our primary goal is to ensure the safety of our employees and patrons. Sweet Martha’s Cookie Jar is a family-owned and operated business and the Minnesota State Fair is our largest event of the year. We realize there’s a good possibility that it could be canceled until large gatherings can be executed safely. This cancelation would, of course, affect our business, along with our 800 seasonal employees and the numerous vendors that support us with their goods and services. Since the fate of this summer’s events is still unknown, we’re cautiously moving forward with planning and are ready to cooperate with local authorities and the MN State Fair in order to sustain the health and safety of everyone.
As the situation progresses, the Minnesota State Fair will make updates on their website.
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