South Dakota State Fair announces the return of concerts in 2021 Original

HURON, S.D. (KELO) — The 136th annual South Dakota State Fair, along with Legend Seeds, will be welcoming country singer Jon Pardi to the fairground’s grandstand this year as part of their concert series.

“We plan to have our traditional three concert series and we of course are very excited to have Jon Pardi with us on board,” Candi Briley, assistant manager for the South Dakota State Fair. said. “We will be making more announcements soon.”

The concert will be held on Sunday, September 5 at 7 p.m. in the grandstands.

The 2017 Lynyrd Skynyad Concert at the state fair. Photos courtesy of South Dakota State Fair.

Having concerts return this year has gained positive feedback, said Briley.

“People are just extremely positive,” Candi said. “You know, for one, again we are a celebration of ag, youth and South Dakota tradition, so people really look forward to coming to the fair with that. With our Jon Pardi announcement, that received a ton of positive review and rave reviews.”

For 2021, they will be implementing many of the same sanitation safety protocols that were used for the 2020 fair, Briley said. Those include hand sanitizing stations, extra hand washing stations around the fairgrounds and enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols. Social distancing protocols will be determined at a later date, she said.

“That being said, the fair itself does offer a lot of different variety of ways to naturally social distance,” Briley said.

The grandstands offer both reserve seating and standing room, so the compacity varies from concert to concert, Briley said.

Last year, there were no concerts at the state fair. Briley said instead, they offered a different experience for fairgoers, which included an ATV thrill show, a light show and their bull riding, which is something that everyone enjoyed.

Crowds attending the 2020 state fair. Photos courtesy of the South Dakota State Fair.

“It really was just a different experience,” Briley said. “We were happy to be able to offer something different, other than concerts. You know, people really enjoyed out ATV thriller show. It was a lot of fun to watch the light show and the families that showed up for that and just thoroughly enjoying themselves.”

The bull riding always has a great attendance and a lot of excitement, Briley said.

When asked if they would be bringing some of these events back this year, Briley said those announcements would be made in the coming weeks.

Briley said they are moving forward with planning for the 2021 state fair, which much of their traditional programming. Right now, their vending contracts and camping reservations are coming in at a good pace, she said.

There is another announcement in the works for next week, that will provide more information about what will be offered at this year’s fair, Briley said. They plan to make weekly announcements for other non-concert events after that and finish up with their third concert announcement before the end of April.

During this year’s state fair, there is also excitement surrounding the groundbreaking of the new Dakota Events Complex (DEX), Briley said. They are planning for the grand opening of the DEX in 2022.

“So, each of those things in themselves are really exciting, but when you package them all together, again, just a lot of excitement coming up for this year’s fair and we’re thrilled to be putting together all of those things for people to experience,” Briley said.

As they are moving forward with planning details for the fair, Briley said they are seeing the excitement building with the vendors and the campers coming back.

“Just look forward to being able to offer the celebration for the youth and the agriculture and for people to celebrate South Dakota traditions,” Briley said.

The South Dakota State Fair will be held September 2- 6 2021 at the fairground in Huron. Ticket pre-sales begin May 24 for Friends of the Fair VIPs, June 14 for backrest holders and June 17 for Friends of the Fair. Tickets will go on sale to the general public June 21. 

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