We applaud the Missouri State Fair for making the difficult but responsible decision to cancel the traditional fair in lieu of a youth livestock show this year.
As we recently reported, organizers announced the change late last week, saying the fair would return to its roots as "a showcase of Missouri agriculture."
The usual carnival, the vast selection of fried foods, the bands and other entertainers, as well as non-youth livestock events all will be missing from the state fairgrounds in Sedalia this year. The opening day ceremony and the Governor's Ham Breakfast also will be canceled.
"Staying true to that tradition, the fair will continue to allow the invaluable agriculture education experience to Missouri 4-H and FFA members by offering a Youth Livestock Show only," according to a news release.
Only limited concessions will be available on the grounds to serve exhibitors and families.
Organizers cited two reasons for the decision: the safety of fair-goers and the fact sponsors were backing out.
COVID-19 cases have been increasing in Missouri. On Saturday, the state broke its single-day record with 958 new cases. Another 846 new cases were announced for Sunday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday that the number of infected people could be up to 13 times the number of reported cases in some parts of the country.
We're not happy our state won't be having a traditional fair this year, but it's the right decision and one many area states have made as well. Right now is not the time to have that many people in such close proximity.
Let's stay safe this year, and hopefully, return to a bigger and better state fair next year.