HURON, S.D. (KELO) — It’s an end-to-summer staple, the South Dakota State Fair.
Campers are filling the fair campground, food vendors line the midway ready for hungry fairgoers and showmen have their livestock trimmed and fitted for their time in the show ring.
For many South Dakotans, the state fair is a final celebration before summer is over.
“The fair is so meaningful to people, they make memories here, start traditions, continue traditions. It’s just really cool to see people connect,” Candi Briley, assistant manager said.
The open class beef show is looking a little different this year, following the fire at the beef complex.
This year’s shows were held Tuesday and Wednesday before the official start of the fair.
“We aren’t all together like we usually are , we are pretty spread out here, so we don’t have quite as much of a sense of being together and hanging out with all of our friends, it’s a little bit more difficult,” Chesney Effling, showman said.
They are seeing a decrease in showmen, cattle and spectators at the beef show.
Cattle showmen are eagerly awaiting the opening of the DEX Complex, which will be ready for use next year.
“I think it’s kind of been a long time coming. I’m very excited to be able to be back with our show family again and be able to draw in a larger crowd from surrounding states and I think it will help give our state and our state fair a better name,” Effling said.
Showmen aren’t the only ones already on the fairgrounds. Food vendors are set up and ready for customers.
It’s Blue Loon Concessions first time serving at the state fair. They have done a lot of preparing to get ready to serve.
“We brought a lot of food, so we had a prep crew of about six people for a couple of days getting us ready with equipment and food,” Marc Anderson, owner of Blue Loon Concessions said.
But all the hard work pays off once the fair starts.
“What I’m looking forward to is going on the rides tonight,” Cyrus Blum, showman said.