Strong start, hot ending for 2023 State Fair

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HURON — The 2023 South Dakota State Fair got off to a strong start and despite record-setting heat, fair participation remained strong through the weekend.

This year’s State Fair experience was like no other, with temperatures soaring on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, exceeding 100 degrees each day. Sunday’s 103 temperature in Huron broke a 130-year record from 1893, and Monday’s 102 temperature broke a record from 1913.

Youth Participation and Education
• More than 1,400 exhibitors entered more than 8,500 exhibits in open class livestock and non-livestock competitions.
• The Arts & Education Building hosted 5,800 education exhibits.
• 9,375 4-H display exhibits, livestock exhibits, and youth in action entries participated in the Fair.
• 369 FFA exhibitors showcased over 950 entries.

• Over 675 students and teachers participated in South Dakota’s Largest Classroom.
• Nearly 50 schools and libraries participated in the Read and Win program sponsored by Ag Performance, handing out over 8,600 youth daily admission gate passes to young readers.
Attendance and Economic Impact
• 178,246 guests passed through the gates, and nearly 2,000 campers stayed at the fairground’s campsites, helping set the pace for a successful State Fair.
• 322 commercial exhibitors filled 607 vendor locations.
• More than $2.6 million was spent by fairgoers on goods, beverage, specialty concessions, and carnival rides.
• The Fair generated over $217,000 in tax revenue.

Additional Highlights
• The Open Class Sheep Show and Open Class Beef Show were held ahead of the Fair, kicking off fair week August 26 through 30.
•The DEX: Dakota Events CompleX ribbon cutting was held Aug. 31.

In total, the DEX is a 150,000 square-foot open concept facility, capable of hosting two full-sized equestrian arenas and seating for 5,000 people. Alternatively, it is equipped to host up to 1,700 cattle stalls, two show rings, and visitor seating, further solidifying its adaptability. During the 2023 State Fair, the DEX was set with 1,200 cattle stalls and one large show ring, giving exhibitors and spectators the best possible showing and viewing experience. Thank you to all who helped bring this vision to life!

The 2024 South Dakota State Fair dates are Thursday, Aug.29 through Monday, Sept. 2. For more information about the South Dakota State Fair, contact the Fair office at 800-529-0900, visit www.sdstatefair.com or find them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.