World’s Fair of Money ‘suspended’

ANA board discussing ‘alternate options’

The American Numismatic Association (ANA) has announced the suspension of the 2020 World’s Fair of Money.

The show, originally scheduled for Aug. 4-8 in Pittsburgh, Pa., is the largest annual coin and paper money event in the United States. After deliberating the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on the show feasibility, the ANA board resolved in a June 16 vote to postpone the show; however, alternate sites and dates are being considered.

While the State of Pennsylvania’s current guidelines restricts indoor gatherings to 250 people, the five-day World’s Fair of Money typically attracts upwards of 10,000 people, according to organizers.

“None of the usual World’s Fair of Money offerings would be possible at the Pittsburgh show,” said Jennifer Ackerman, ANA conventions director. “No exhibits, no educational programming, no Kids Zone, no club meetings, no banquet and a significantly reduced bourse. Our team has been in nearly daily conversations with the convention center, but it’s become evident that they are unable to fulfill their contractual obligations.”

THIRD CANCELLATION SINCE 1891

It’s only the third cancellation of the ANA’s annual convention since 1891 (the first being in 1918 during the flu pandemic and then in 1945 because of the Second World War).

“The decision to postpone the World’s Fair of Money was very emotional and extremely difficult,” said ANA President Steve Ellsworth. “The convention staff and the Pittsburgh organizing committee worked hard to make the show a reality. PAN (Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists) went beyond all expectations to deliver what would have been a fantastic event, and I’m deeply disappointed that the collecting community won’t be able to experience the results of their efforts. I know we will return to Pittsburgh in the not-so-distant future. In the meantime, we will pursue opportunities to host the event in another city in the weeks ahead.”

OTHER OPTIONS EXPLORED

Alternative options “briefly” discussed by the ANA board include the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo., and the Mountain America Expo Center and Salt Palace Convention Center, both of which are located in Salt Lake City, Utah.

“During these trying and socially isolated times, we were looking forward to reconnecting with our fellow numismatists,” added ANA Executive Director Kim Kiick. “We’re disappointed we won’t be seeing everyone in Pittsburgh but are working hard to create other opportunities to connect.”

As of June 8, the Pennsylvania Department of Health reported all 67 counties in the state currently have cases of COVID-19; however, as of June 12, all counties moved to the “green phase” of re-opening, which eases most restrictions (although gatherings of more than 250 people are still prohibited).

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