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Exciting Things Are Happening at the South Dakota State Fairgrounds




For Immediate Release:  August 15, 2017
Media Contact:  Jodi Bechard, 605.773.5711


Exciting Things Are Happening at the South Dakota State Fairgrounds
By Mike Jaspers, South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture


Every year, it seems like summer flies by faster than the one before. For me, though, summer is never over until after the South Dakota State Fair. It’s one last chance to catch up with family and friends, take in a concert and watch a youth livestock show before my kids get busy with school and fall activities and harvest starts for me.


This year, the South Dakota State Fair runs from Thursday, Aug. 31, through Monday, Sept. 4, with a preview night on the evening of Wednesday, Aug. 30. As you spend some time exploring the fairgrounds, I hope you’ll notice and appreciate many of the repair and renovation projects we have worked on over the past year.


With an attendance of more than 211,000 people, the 2016 State Fair was one of the largest in recent history. With the increase in the number of fairgoers, renovations for the restrooms and food court area were especially needed. For the 2017 Fair, you’ll notice several updated restrooms and bath houses, as well as new counters in the food court. You will probably also notice some ongoing construction in and around the grandstand. The grandstand will celebrate its 100th birthday next year. Construction will continue over the next couple months as we work to make sure it is looking it’s best for that celebration.


Camping at the State Fair is also becoming more and more popular. To accommodate this growing demand, camping is now available at Gate 13, which is located west of the grandstand. Upgrades were made this spring to add 30 new electrical pedestals to allow for direct electrical hookups for campers at Gate 13.  


We’ve made these upgrades not only for everyone that comes to enjoy the annual State Fair, but for hundreds of thousands of people that come to the fairgrounds to enjoy the more than 100 other events the fairgrounds hosts. On any given day, you can come to the fairgrounds to see tractor shows, races or rodeos. We are especially excited to host the National Junior High Finals Rodeo, the second largest rodeo in the world, in 2018 and 2019. This rodeo draws contestants from 42 states, five Canadian provinces and Australia.


I hope to see you at the 2017 South Dakota State Fair at the end of the month and that you enjoy everything the fair has to offer. I also hope you’ll take advantage of the many other events taking place year round. Exciting things are happening at the fairgrounds. Come check it out!