Sioux Empire Fair kicks off Thursday in Sioux Falls

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Sioux Empire Fair starts tomorrow. Attendance was down last year due to COVID-19, but this year food vendors are hoping to feed record crowds.

“21 years, this will be my 22nd,” said Indian Taco vendor Mark Moore.

Mark Moore has seen a lot in those 22 years, but nothing like last year when COVID-19 took a big bite out of his taco truck.

“Last year was about 50 percent of income compared to all my other years. We’re hoping for gangbusters this year,” said Moore.

Moore offers a lot more than just Indian tacos. His menu includes beef chislic, prime rib sandwiches and rocky mountain oysters. He hopes to sell a lot of them this year.

“Better than normal, better than normal, I think,” said Moore.

“We have a couple of new food vendors coming, some new food like steak tacos, Laotion food,” said Courtney Hokanson with the Sioux Empire Fair.

Courtney Hokanson with the Sioux empire Fair is looking forward to much bigger crowds on food row this year.

“We’re encouraging people to come out if they’re comfortable and wear a mask if you like and social distance as well. We encourage that, but the nice thing is we are an outdoor venue,” said Hokanson.

Workers were busy today setting up food trucks, the kiddie rides and even patching the roof on the Expo building.

“We are still going to use it for the fair. They were able to do a temporary fix right now, they’ll do a permanent one after the fair,” said Hokanson.

A couple of things that were cancelled last year are returning, like the 4-H program and bingo tent. Moore thinks it will all add up to a record year.

“I would hope to be up 25 percent above my best years,” said Moore.

Something that could happen as long as there’s fair weather.

The fairgrounds open at 5 p.m. tomorrow for the Old Dominion concert. You will need a ticket for that, but the rest of the grandstand entertainment is free after you pay at the gate.

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