The fair’s board of directors met Tuesday night and concluded they have no choice but to cancel the 2011 fair that has been scheduled for August at the Reno Livestock Events Center, Executive Director Rich Crombie said.
It means Nevada will join Michigan as the only states in the nation without a state fair.
“It is unfortunate and very sad that a longtime Nevada event that served as a showcase for western culture, heritage and lifestyle has ended,” said Chris Chrystal, spokeswoman for the Nevada Commission on Tourism.
Ulysses S. Grant was president when Nevada held its first state fair in 1874.
Crombie said a series of last-ditch fundraising events brought in only about $20,000 of the $280,000 needed to cover past debts resulting in part from slumping attendance in recent years.
“We want to express our most sincere and humble gratitude to the many volunteers and supporters of the Nevada State Fair who stood by her over the past several years, and especially in the last several weeks,” the board said in a statement Wednesday.
Crombie said contributions will be refunded to anyone who asks but that fundraising will continue in hope of resuming the fair in 2012.
“It is our intention to not file for bankruptcy, but to continue efforts to raise money to satisfy the fair’s debts which could perhaps put us in a position to revive the fair at some later date in the future,” he said.