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Besch: South Dakota State Fair a Success
South Dakota Ag Connection - 10/21/2020

The South Dakota State Fair celebrated its 135th event Sept. 3-7 and it was a success, the fairgrounds manager reported Tuesday.

Themed 'Perfect Vision of Fun,' an event that showcased youth, tradition, agriculture, and South Dakota heritage, South Dakota State Fairgrounds Manager Peggy Besch said, "It was great to see family and friends coming together to celebrate their achievements and enjoy the Fair safely, and responsibly. This year presented many challenges, but we embraced them and worked hard to host a safe and successful event."

Nearly 1,600 competitive exhibitors participated in various open class livestock and non-livestock competitions, entering more than 8,300 exhibits. There were nearly 800 Future Farmers of America (FFA) entries and over 3,000 4-H livestock and static exhibit entries. Open class exhibitors took home more than $92,000 in premiums and there was a 10% increase in livestock exhibitors with a 16% overall increase in entries.

"The State Fair attracted 107,992 guests who spent nearly $1.3 million on goods, beverages, specialty concessions, and carnival rides," said Besch. "In addition, we had 290 commercial exhibitors, concessionaires, and vendors showcased. We knew the pandemic would impact attendance, but we're very pleased with these numbers."

The Fair was a success in part, due to the additional safety measures in place, including hand sanitizing stations, extra hand washing stations, social distancing, and enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols.

The 2021 South Dakota State Fair will be held Sept. 2-6.

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