A second Twin Cities media outlet has announced it won't be attending the 2021 Minnesota State Fair.
Foodie news and culinary review website Heavy Table, which has been covering the fair's food offerings since 2010, says they've decided to withdraw from the event amid concerns about the Delta variant.
They called it a "disappointing pivot" away from the fair's "foundational roots," which encouraged "public health through example, through encouragement, and through education."
"We’d no sooner review food at the Fair this year than we’d write a post entitled Top 10 Things to Eat Inside of a Geologically Unstable Cave System Sprinkled with Potentially Deadly Methane Pockets."
- Heavy Table
The editorial also criticizes the fair for relying on "the general public to 'do the right thing,'" saying a "significant portion of the American population" regards doing the right thing as "refusing to mask, refusing to vaccinate, and refusing to self-isolate even when sick."
"Personal initiative is not a substitute for institutional mandates," Heavy Tables writes. "The fact that the effort of trying to enforce safety standards would be 'extremely difficult' does not absolve the Fair of its duty."
"We would love to go to the Minnesota State Fair, and our decision not to cover its new foods this year is collectively breaking our hearts. But until the Fair shows itself to be safe and committed to public health, we can’t in good conscience endorse or promote it."
- Heavy Table
This follows a similar decision by WCCO Radio, which this week announced it would not be broadcasting from the 2021 fair.
"The Fair chose the ‘honor system’ and for our decision-makers, it is not enough to feel comfortable," the station said in a statement.
A number of other fair mainstays will also not be in attendance this year, with more than 100 vendors deciding to pull out of the event not only to due COVID, but also staffing shortages.