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No payoff: Summer without fairs leaves farm kids heartbroken

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Payne Steffan poses for a photo with his duck, Arlo, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020, near Jenera, Ohio. Steffan is sad he won’t get to show off his ducks or get to impress the judges with how much he knows. The Hancock County Fair was cancelled due to the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Among the many summertime traditions being hit hard by the coronavirus are the nation’s county and state fairs.

The International Association of Fairs and Expositions says about 80% of the fairs have been canceled or scaled down this year. Many of those still going on have done away with carnival rides and concerts.

Some are only allowing youth livestock competitions or opening for “fair food drive-thrus.” The fairs association estimates the total loss is nearing $4 billion for fair organizations.

A group of Republicans and Democrats in Congress are asking for a $500 million relief package for agricultural fairs.

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