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Return of East Texas State Fair may provide economic boon for Tyler

105th East Texas State Fair
105th East Texas State Fair(KLTV)
Published: Sep. 25, 2021 at 1:37 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - After being canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, the East Texas State Fair is back and organizers are hoping to make up for the financial losses they endured last year.

According to East Texas State Fair President and CEO John Sykes, having the fair shut down was an emotional experience but also one that hurt financially. Sykes says they lost millions and had to dip into their reserve funds, but he also estimates from previous studies that the community of Tyler lost out on $12 to $13 million due to the fair’s cancelation.

“Our folks spent a lot of money on hotels restaurants, goods and needs to operate this fair it can go from anywhere to fuel to hamburger buns that come from the local economy, so the fair has always been one of those entities that gives back to the community tremendously via a variety of economic impact numbers,” said Sykes.

Sykes believes the fair will recover after this year; he hopes they will be able to continue their scholarship fund after having to take a break this year. According to him, the fair has already tripled the number of online sales and pre-sales compared to 2019 at this time.

“After seeing what happened last night our very first night or yesterday it was a fantastic day, and we are anticipating because of the beautiful weather and the atmosphere and people are excited about coming back out here we will be back strong,” said Sykes.

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