Governor Daugaard’s Weekly Column: There’s Something For Everyone At The State Fair

There’s Something For Everyone At The State Fair
A column by Gov. Dennis Daugaard:

Before the season turns and the kids are fully immersed in school activities, there’s one more summer event you will want to experience. South Dakota’s great get-together, the State Fair, runs from Thursday, Aug. 31, to Monday, Sept. 4, in Huron. This year marks the 132nd State Fair, and it’s an event you don’t want to miss.

For the last 10 years, the State Fair has charted a consistent trend of success, with year-over-year increases in virtually all areas. Since 2007, attendance has increased an incredible 40 percent, from 151,000 to more than 210,000, and with good weather, we may set another all-time record in 2017.

For a few days each year, the fairgrounds become a community unto itself. Be sure to stop at the FFA Ag Adventure Center and ask a state officer how their year of service is going. Take a walk through the exhibition halls and chat with 4-H’ers about their projects. Visit with the vendors. Stroll over for some cotton candy or go on a carnival ride. Test your skill in the arm wrestling competition, the jitterbugging contest or the pork and chili cook-offs.

You can experience a taste of the Old West at the bull riding and cowboy mounted shooting events. Sample a South Dakota beverage at the wine pavilion, or reminisce with an old friend on a trolley ride around the grounds. There really is something for everyone.

The State Fair is a celebration of agriculture and the history of the industry which dates back prior to statehood. On the morning of Thursday, Aug. 31, at 10 a.m. at the Dakotaland Stage, we will celebrate South Dakota farms and ranches that have reached their 100-, 125- and 150-year anniversaries. If you plan to be in town I hope you can join me for that and for the Salute to Veterans ceremony which follows at 10:30 a.m. at the Northwestern Energy Freedom Stage. The ceremony is a chance to honor our veterans and their families for the sacrifices they have made.

I am proud of our State Fair. It’s a one-of-a-kind celebration of agriculture and community. Consider marking the dates on your calendar and making plans to come out for at least one day. I hope to see you there.


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