ST. PAUL — The Minnesota State Fair's board of managers on Friday, May 22, announced the cancellation of the 12-day get-together due to the coronavirus pandemic. The fair had been slated to start Aug. 27.

It's the sixth time in history that the event has been canceled. And the board along with the fair's general manager on Friday said they voted to cancel after it was determined there was no way to social distance at the event that brings in hundreds of thousands each day.

"Right now is the time of year when things need to really take off if we’re going to have a fair, but we can see that we’re out of runway and can’t get off the ground. There will be no State Fair this year," General Manager Jerry Hammer said. "So this isn’t a difficult decision. It’s the only decision. It’s the right thing to do."

The news came as the state on Friday reported 33 more Minnesotans died from the coronavirus and its complications, the highest one-day total reported to date, and 813 more were sickened with the illness.

"The best thing we can all do right now is to help the world recover and heal. In the meantime, your team of State Fair pros is working hard to come back bigger, better, stronger and smarter in ‘21," Hammer said in a statement. "We’ll see you next year at the Great Minnesota Get-Back-Together.”

Hundreds of thousands convene on the state fairgrounds each of the event's 12 days to eat, gather and enjoy the festivities and attractions. Last year, more than 2 million attended the fair, an all-time record.

The fair has been canceled five other times since its inception in 1859: in 1861 and 1862 because of the Civil War and U.S.-Dakota War, in 1893 due to a scheduling conflict with the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, in 1945 due to travel restrictions during World War II and in 1946 as a result of a polio epidemic.

The decision elicited sadness, frustration and acceptance from Minnesotans who voiced their reactions on social media soon after the board members announced their decision.

"We look forward to celebrating the 2021 Minnesota State Fair with pronto pups and cheese curds, a trip down the Giant Slide and a concert at the Grandstand, a visit from the Pride of Minnesota marching band and, we’re confident, Paul Bunyan’s Axe," University of Minnesota officials said in a news release. "Until then, we are committed to our mission of serving Minnesotans across our state, every single day."

State Sen. Chris Eaton, D-Brooklyn Center, on Twitter, said Minnesotans may be saddened by the news but should consider the gravity of the pandemic.

"Please take this seriously. The ICUs are filling up and people of all ages are dying," she said.

Others said they were frustrated about the news to cancel the event months before it was set to start.

"Not surprising. It’s all a part of the plan to keep people living in fear," Minnesota Republican Party Chair Jennifer Carnahan wrote on Twitter. "Gov Walz and the Fair Board should look at themselves with shame when they look in the mirror. This action just destroyed many people’s lives and businesses."