SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Fair season is almost here and as usual fair managers are concerned about attendance. South Dakota’s four biggest fairs are hoping for big crowds after getting through what appears to be the worst of the pandemic.
The South Dakota State Fair in Huron gets underway on September 1. The Central States Fair in Rapid City begins on August 19. The first day of the Brown County Fair in Aberdeen is August 15. And the Sioux Empire Fair in Sioux Falls opens on August 5.
For fair manager, Scott Wick, concerns over the pandemic have been replaced with concerns over high gas prices. He believes there is a chance fewer out-of-town people will drive to the fair because they can’t afford to fill up their tanks.
“As far as the fuel prices the carnival operators are definitely seeing the pinch there. their diesel prices are high and they go all over the country and have a lot of trucks running, so for us for people around here I’m anxious to see how things turn out will people not go to the fair?” Wick said. “Take either a vacation out to the Black Hills or head down to Lake of the Ozarks or skip the family vacation and stay home for the quote staycation and take the fair in, I don’t know.”
Vendors selling turkey legs, tacos, and Dippin Dots are already on-site at the WH Lyon Fairgrounds getting ready for opening day. Wick says he talked with the manager of the Red River Valley Fair in Fargo which had a successful run earlier this month.
“People were still coming out and taking advantage of the specials they had riding rides eating food his concerts were well attended and we’ve been hearing that pretty much across the board,” said Wick.
So if North Dakota is any indication, gas prices while uncomfortable won’t stop most people from taking in some well-deserved fun and entertainment only a fair can provide.
Admission to the Sioux Empire Fair, which starts next Friday, is 10 dollars for adults and 5 dollars for kids.