Farm Progress

South Dakota State Fair attendance numbers up

4-H and FFA activities led the way at the state fair, where attendance topped 217,000.

October 22, 2018

1 Min Read
YOUTH FACTOR: Participation in 4-H and FFA activities at the South Dakota State Fair was up in 2018, which contributed to an increase in total attendance.SD Department of Tourism

South Dakota State Fair numbers continue to climb

Attendance at the 2018 South Dakota State Fair was 217,231, up 2.5% over last year, while gate revenue increased by 3.6%.

"This was an exciting year for us. We invited people to come experience the fair’s magic and that they did! Our strong entertainment line-up, headlined by Toby Keith, set the mood for the fair and the rest just fell into place," says Peggy Besch, South Dakota state fair manager. "Of course, the weather was on our side too! It was fun to see the crowds, especially on the weekend."

Other increases include a 13% increase in grandstand ticket sales, while grandstand ticket revenue was up 56%.  Carnival revenue was up 7%. Gross sales from vendors were up 2.8%.

The South Dakota State Fair hosted 1,984 campers, up 1.5% over last year.

Participation in youth activities remained strong as 4-H livestock exhibits were up 3%, while 4-H Youth in Action increased by 24%. A 14% increase in FFA exhibitors led to a 32% increase in FFA entries.

The 2019 South Dakota State Fair will be Aug. 29 through Sept. 2.

Source: South Dakota Department of Agriculture

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