For the first time in 40 years, the 3i SHOW event has officially been canceled.


In a news release Friday from 3i SHOW sponsor Western Kansas Manufactures Association, after communication with its exhibitors, officials and attendees about spread of the coronavirus, the decision was made to cancel the show this year.


"The point of the 3i SHOW is to provide a safe environment for exhibitors and attendees to interact," the WKMA news release said. "3i SHOW staff want the best for our exhibitors and attendees and that means making difficult decisions such as this.


"It is understandable that there may be confusion as this announcement comes a day after being told the event would continue as planned. 3i SHOW staff asks that people be understanding that a widespread pandemic is out of our control."


As major events such as the NCAA basketball tournament have been canceled, major sports leagues NBA and NHL suspended their seasons and multiple large-gathering events such as concerts have been canceled, it comes as no surprise the 3i SHOW would follow suit.


"The safety of our exhibitors, attendees, presenters, volunteers, partners, county and city staff will remain our number one priority," WKMA said.


For any questions or concerns, the 3i SHOW staff asks to be reached at 620-227-8082 or at info@3ishow.com.


To contact the writer, email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com.