ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – State fair officials have canceled the junior livestock show. They say the decision comes after discussions with parents and 4H and FFA leadership, along with public health officials.

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Officials say the recent uptick of COVID cases combined with a new public health order has made it tough for some families to attend this year. Last month, they announced anyone over 12 will be left out this year if they aren’t vaccinated. Fair officials say they will be issuing full refunds and hope to host the event next year.

Senator Cliff Pirtle (District 32-Chaves, Eddy, and Otero) and Senator Crystal Diamond (District 30-Doña Ana, Hidalgo, Luna, and Sierra) responded to the cancellation in the following statements:

“The rural-urban divide has been exacerbated at an alarming rate under Governor Lujan Grisham,” said Senator Diamond in a news release. “Our way of life in rural New Mexico seems almost irrelevant to her, and once again, it is our children who are suffering. Families across the state pleaded with the Governor, in good faith, to amend her order so we could avoid this. Instead, she has allowed our prestigious State Fair to be relegated to a flea market and pop-up amusement park that keeps many New Mexicans locked out.” 

“It is both disappointing and painfully predictable that the Governor effectively cancelled the livestock show at the State Fair,” Senator Pirtle said in a news release. “What we are seeing is further evidence that Michelle Lujan Grisham does not care about how her mandates impact our kids. The silver lining to this unfortunate outcome is that all are welcome at the true New Mexico state fair, at our youth livestock expo, September 14-17, in Roswell. Please come and show our kids their hard work is appreciated and valued.”