MINOT, ND - The North Dakota State Fair Board decided in an emergency meeting Saturday afternoon to cancel the 2011 North Dakota State Fair due to the continuing Mouse (Souris) River flood situation.
Fair and city officials reviewed the revised flood estimates from the National Weather Service which has now forecasted slower than expected receding flood waters of the Mouse River.
The new National Weather Service estimates had been made before Friday's significant rain event, severely compounding the city's on-going flood flight.
The water has not receded as we expected.
"The situation has changed dramatically since just two weeks ago when we initially reviewed National Weather Service forecasts," says Renae Korslien, State Fair manager. "When we were working with the earlier forecast, we were certain we could hold a State Fair. But, the revised forecast and Friday's downpour now make that an impossibility."
"We did everything we could to make this year's Fair a reality. Sadly, the circumstances have changed. We are left with no choice," adds Korslien
Water remains on the State Fair grounds. However, Korslien reports that the State Fair Center and the new Fair Grandstand remain dry. Fair employees worked around the clock to build protective levies around these facilities in the days before last month's flood.
Ticket purchases and camping reservations made by a credit card will be automatically refunded back to the account. It is not necessary to contact the fair office if a credit card was used for the purchase. Those ticket holders can expect to see a credit by July 31st. Any customers, who made purchases with cash, do need to contact the North Dakota State Fair office at 701-857-7620 or email email@example.com.
"We want to thank our fellow North Dakotans from every corner of our state and our fellow Minot residents for their support in these recent weeks. We were truly touched by the outpouring of support earlier last month when we announced our decision to proceed with the State Fair," says Korslien. "It just reminds us all of what makes this state and city so special and it makes all of us in the State Fair family even more determined to make next year's Fair even greater."