Sioux Empire Fair preparing to open its gates to a full line up this year Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO)– In just two short weeks, the 82nd annual Sioux Empire Fair will be kicking off and they are looking forward to seeing higher numbers than last year.

Courtney Hokanson, Director of Marketing and Public Relations, said they are busy just starting to set up for the fair events.

“There’s a lot of preparation that happens year-round for the fair and now these two weeks out is when everything starts showing up, people start coming setting up and we are finalizing those little details,” Hokanson said.

Photo courtesy of the Sioux Empire Fair

Last year, the fair brought in people from across the country, due to several fairs being cancelled because of COVID-19.

“I think it was just so exciting for everyone to be able to have that experience and the opportunity to come to fair,” Hokanson said.

The numbers in 2020 we a little lower than normal, she said, but they had expected that. This year, they are hoping for some higher numbers, if people are comfortable attending.

Photo courtesy of the Sioux Empire Fair

She said they had a lot of fairs who were not able to run last year, were reaching out to the Sioux Empire Fair and asking how they were able to open and asking advice.

“It was definitely a learning experience for everyone who had events and had to adjust,” she said.

They saw a lot of support for the fair last year, from not only fairgoers, but musicians and vendors as well.

“We had a lot of support, we are so grateful for that, and we are just really getting excited for this year, it’s going to be a strong kickoff,” Hokanson said.

Old Dominion will kick off the festivities on August 5 and “we are pumped for that concert,” she said. This is a concert that was re-scheduled from last year. Tickets are required for this concert and there are still some available, which can be purchased online or the day of the event.

The rest of the grandstands events are free with paid gate admission.

They will be having a full fair line-up this year, Hokanson said. Last year, they were not able to have some of the events, including 4-H and bingo, but those activities will be making a come back this year.

“We have a full grandstand line-up, something for everyone, including families with the ATV show and the rodeo, so it’s going to be a fun time,” Hokanson said.

Photo courtesy of the Sioux Empire Fair

There is also plenty of free entertainment throughout the fair, including the front porch, which highlights local musicians, The Old Mac Donald’s Farm and the Pipestone Discovery Barn, where there are animals being born throughout the fair week.

4-H and FFA will be having shows throughout the fair week, and numbers for those events are up this year, Hokanson said.

“It will be a great time,” she said. “These 4-H and FFA kids work so hard year-round to prepare for this and it’s a big deal for people to be able show at the Sioux Empire Fair and the state fair so we just love to support those kids.”

Hokanson is excited to have everyone out at the fairgrounds.

“I love seeing the happy families that come, enjoying the fair food and just supporting one another,” she said. “It’s just a great time at the fair.”

Photo courtesy of the Sioux Empire Fair

The fair doesn’t just pop-up, there is a lot of work involved to get everything ready for the big ten days.

“For the fairgrounds, you start to see it transform over the weeks before the fair,” she said. “People are bringing things in, including carnival rides, and food vendors are starting to come to town and get set up, so there’s a huge transformation you see over the next two weeks to prepare for the fair.”

They are always planning ahead and have things already in the works for the 2022 fair.

You can find more information about the 2021 Sioux Empire Fair, as well as the fair schedule, on their website.

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