MIDDLESEX COUNTY, ONT. -- There will be no Western Fair this fall, London Mayor Ed Holder announced during a virtual press conference on Thursday.

Holder said it cancelling the iconic event was a "difficult, but responsible announcement."

The 2020 event, scheduled for Sept. 11-20, would have been the 145th edition of the fair.

Western Fair Association CEO, Reg Ash, added in a statement, “The reality of impending timelines required to prepare for and create a 10-day event of this size, and the fact that the COVID-19 virus in our region have no foreseeable end date, it became apparent that it would not be possible to mount our annual signature event this September.”

Organizers are thanking guests, staff, volunteers, exhibitors, vendors, sponsors, service providers, community groups, entertainers and attractions, 4-Hers and farmers for their ongoing support.

Management and staff are working on a 'Virtual Fair' that will include; online competitions, summer contests, prizes, fair food offerings, entertainment and agricultural education.

In its 152-year history, the fair has not halted operation since the Second World War.

Holder added, "The Fair has survived World Wars, economic catastrophes, and even pandemics. I have no doubt it will also outlast COVID-19, and return better than ever before in 2021. I hope to see you there.”

The fair joins TD Sunfest, Rock the Park and the Home County Music and Art Festival is cancelling its 2020 event.