Missouri State Fair on this year after 2020 cancelation

By SUMMER BALLENTINE Associated Press

COLUMBIA — Plans for a full Missouri State Fair are back on after the event was canceled last year because of the coronavirus, a spokeswoman for the state's agriculture director confirmed Tuesday. 

Officials canceled the event last year over concerns about safety during the pandemic. The Sedalia fairground was instead used for a smaller youth livestock show in 2020. 

This year's fair is scheduled for Aug. 12 through 22. 

Plans for the annual tradition come as coronavirus cases throughout the state continue to drop after peaking in November. 

The state health department reported another roughly 2,400 confirmed virus cases this past week, or about 344 new cases per day on average. In November, there were at times more than 4,000 new cases reported each week. 

Meanwhile, state and local officials are gearing up for a mega vaccination event this weekend at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, where 6,000 doses are expected to be administered. 

The largest gaps in the number of people eligible for vaccination and the number of people who have been vaccinated are in St. Louis and Jackson County, according to a March 8 report by consulting firm Deloitte's health care analytics platform, HealthPrism. 

State Rep. Ashley Bland Manlove, a Kansas City Democrat and leader of the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus, urged Jackson County residents to sign up for vaccinations this weekend. 

"By cutting down on this backlog this weekend, we can open up more appointments for more Jackson County residents in the future," Bland Manlove said in a statement.