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Phil Perry/Coal Valley News A ferris wheel operates at the 2019 West Virginia Coal Festival.

CHARLESTON – One week after Gov. Jim Justice stated that the State Fair of West Virginia would proceed as originally scheduled, the fair was canceled after a meeting of the board that plans the event.

Originally slated for Aug. 13 through Aug. 22 in Fairlea in Greenbrier County, the annual fair that celebrates West Virginia culture took a more cautious approach and nixed plans for 2020.

Via a press release, Kelly Collins, CEO for the State Fair of West Virginia indicated that it was the first time the fair has been canceled since World War II and noted that an outbreak of the coronavirus at a church in Greenbrier County as the reason the plans for the fair were abolished.

“When we first discussed moving forward with the 2020 State Fair, we knew it was a fluid situation that could change quickly,” he said. “Unfortunately, the number of COVID-19 cases surged only hours after our initial announcement. After speaking with local and state health officials as well as community members, it was a hard decision, but the right decision to cancel.”

Locally, the Boone County Fair and the West Virginia Coal Festival have canceled this summer and as of Thursday morning, the Freedom Festival in Logan was still scheduled to take place July 1-4 but organizers say they are currently in discussions regarding a potential cancelation but no decision had been made.

Reporter Phil Perry can be reached at pperry@hdmediallc.com or at 304-307-2401.