TIMONIUM, Md. (WJZ) — It’s the time of year when Marylanders would be flocking to the State Fairgrounds to get on the rides, enjoy some fair food and check out the farm animals, but like many other events, the state fair has had to adapt due to the coronavirus.

Fair organizers said they’re doing their part to offer a sliver of the fair experience virtually to give Marylanders a taste of the more than 100-year-old event.

“It was certainly a hard decision, you know, we enjoy welcoming our half-million visits every year to the Maryland State Fair, but with the current pandemic and the state of things just for the safety of all our patrons and our exhibitors we thought in the best interest to cancel this year,” David Gordon, the assistant to the fair’s general manager, said.

For just the second time in its 142-year history, the state fair was canceled. The last time it wasn’t held was during World War II.

Despite that, exhibitors will be able to show off their animals through a live stream from the fairgrounds.

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“We’ll have multiple cameras, some will be high, some will be low,” fair operations manager Rebecca Williams said. “We’ll be having people get in the ring so you can get closer to the animals.”

Kids and adults alike are allowed to be at their fairgrounds for the virtual livestock show as long as they practice social distancing and wear face masks.

There will, however, be fewer exhibits this year.

“The biggest thing is it’s hard to be here, and as you see there’s hardly anybody in the barns,” Robert Tibbs, an exhibitor from Shadow Springs Farm, said.

Also streaming this year will be the Miss Maryland Agriculture Competition, youth livestock sale and celebrity milkshake competition.

“It’s one of those things but we’re making the best that we can out of it,” Tibbs said.

The fair runs through Labor Day. To watch, visit the fair’s website or Facebook page.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Stetson Miller

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