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You can’t keep a good State Fair down: South Dakota State Fair releases attendance, revenue figures

Posted: Monday, Oct 1st, 2012

HURON — Heat, drought, sluggish economy and budget cuts; no matter what you throw at it, the South Dakota State Fair keeps increasing in attendance and revenues.

The South Dakota State Fair once again posted an increase in attendance for the sixth fair in a row.  This year’s attendance was 192,790, up 1 percent from last year. More importantly, the State Fair’s revenues increased by 10 percent over last year. 

“People coming out to enjoy the State Fair and all it has to offer, now that’s always a success.  Throw in the increase in attendance, albeit 1 percent, and the revenue increase, now that’s a back-to-back win,” commented Jerome Hertel, South Dakota State Fair manager. 

Despite having its budget cut by more than $500,000 the last five years and a sluggish economy, the State Fair has managed to increase attendance and revenues every year for the last five years.

4-H programs recorded a 16 percent increase, while the level of participation in the livestock programs and FFA remained outstanding. The number of campers on the grounds grew to 1,744 this year, up 8 percent over last year.

“We can’t remember the last time we had so many campers on the grounds,” said Hertel.   “The South Dakota State Fair is a great family tradition, and we’re thrilled that so many South Dakotans came out to celebrate our great state this summer.”

Also higher than last year are the 2012 State Fair revenues, according to the figures released by the Department of Revenue.

The latest figures available show the five-day fair raised $143,510.35 in total tax revenues, over the 2011 State Fair when tax revenues reached $138,381.

Of the $143,510.35 collected this year, $70,448.20 was state sales tax, $35,224.10 was municipal sales tax, $11,419.97 was municipal gross receipts tax, and $26,418.08 was state tourism tax. Gross sales for the 2012 South Dakota State Fair totaled $1,761,205.

Tax revenues from this year’s fair will continue to be collected over the next few weeks, even though the fair officially ended Sept. 3.

With excellent weather and a wide variety of entertainment and events, fair officials call this year’s event a great success.

For the complete article see the 09-29-2012 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 09-29-2012 paper.

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