South Dakota’s longest running fair marks 138 years this week.
The fair began in 1880. Since then, it’s been attracting fans young and old to Parker, South Dakota.
It’s known as the best four days of summer.
But it also may be the busiest.
From brushing the calves, to raking the expo floor, to picking up what’s not so pleasant.
“This is our summer vacation as my kids will say and I remember saying it to my parents. ‘My friends get to go on vacation here or there, and we get two of them! Turner County Fair and State Fair’,” 4H Leader Kelly Dunkelberger said.
And that means an early wakeup call for her son, Geoff.
“I’ve been washing calves since 6 and blowing calves since 7,” Geoff said.
The 15-year-old has been here every summer for as long as he can remember.
This year– he’s showing off his heifer, Splash.
“They just see you walking it around the ring, but they don’t see what happens out of the show ring,” Geoff said.
But luckily getting the livestock ready is a family affair.
“They’ve been out there for an hour now blowing the cows hair. And I laugh when I have to help them because I don’t even do my own. But I’m helping you do your cow,” Dunkelberger said.
At the end of the day, it’s not about winning the purple ribbon or taking home best in show for the Dunkelbergers.
It’s family that makes the fair so special.
“For us, it’s the best four days of summer because it’s where the memories are made and the fun is had,” Dunkelberger said.
The fair runs through Thursday.
Admission is free to the public. For a full schedule of events, visit the Turner County Fair’s website.