After months of speculation and back-and-forth debate, the staff and trustees of the Eastern States Exposition are announcing that the Big E is being canceled over fears of spreading the coronavirus.

The 17-day fair had been set to begin Sept. 18. It has been held every fall since 1916, with the exception of when it was put on hold during World War I and when it was canceled for five years during World War II.

Officials decided to put the fair on hold for the safety of everyone involved from fair attendees, staff, vendors on down to sponsors, suppliers and the community in general.

More than 1.5 million people visit the fair every year. The Big E set a record in 2019 when 1,629,527 people attended.

The Big E also creates an economic impact for the region of approximately $750 million. Many people are hired to work for the 17 days, and thousands of vendors sell goods and services during the event.

President and CEO of the Big E, Gene Cassidy had this to say in a video posted on their website and Facebook page:

For much more on the story, head to Mass Live's website. We thank them for the update. Hopefully we can all get back on track for 2021.