RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The 2020 North Carolina State Fair was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic – the first time it had been canceled since World War II.

The N.C. State Fair announced its theme for 2021 – “Worth the Wait.”

“Millions of North Carolinians have ushered in fall with a trip to the North Carolina State Fair. This year, we’re poised to come back bigger and better than ever,” the N.C. State Fair said.

The 2021 N.C. State Fair is slated to run Oct. 14-24.

North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler announced the cancellation of the 2020 Fair in July. He had previously said it wasn’t financially possible to put on a scaled-back Fair.

With Gov. Roy Cooper lifting more pandemic-related restrictions and the availability of vaccines put the Fair in a different position as compared to last summer.

N.C. State Fair attendance

  • 2019: 938,029
  • 2018: 977,256
  • 2017: 1,014,478
  • 2016: 1,028.364
  • 2015: 1,019,732
  • Five-year average: 995,572