Sioux Empire Fair Preps


The Sioux Empire Fair is one-day shorter this year, but there’s no shortage of activity already underway at the W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds.  Crews are putting the finishing touches on some of the fair’s biggest attractions: the carnival rides.   

The Sioux Empire Fair shaved one-day from its scheduled run this year.  The fair starts Friday night and ends Saturday night, August 11.  President Scott Wick says crowds are just too faired-out by that final Sunday.  He says one fewer day shouldn’t have much impact on overall attendance.   Now it’s a matter of getting everything ready ahead of opening night. 

Setup for the Sioux Empire Fair requires some acrobatics, hydraulics and electronics to get the rides up and running.  The work started on Tuesday.  Most of the rides should be ready for a test-run on Thursday.

“When you come by here and it’s glowing, it’s eight-and-a-half days of fair,” Fair President & CEO Scott Wick said.

Murphy Bros. & Reed Exposition just finished with fairs in Fargo and Minot.   Geography plays a big part in making money on the summer fair circuit.

“It isn’t a situation of jumping 500-miles like we used to when gas prices were 26-cents a gallon, so it’s all a lot more expensive today,” Murphy Bros. & Reed Exposition Safety Coordinator Frank Sutton said.

The midway rides don’t just go any which way.  The crews set up the larger rides like the Ferris wheel close to the interstate so people driving by can know that the fair is in town.

“They look at the grounds and look at the view from the highways and things like that, if we’re close to a main highway and they’ll put the taller rides along the highway where people can see them when they come by and it adds a little bit of free advertising, Sutton said.

Setup crews also pay attention to the aesthetics on the midway.  They like the natural look to the W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds where the rides can really take root.

“You put a carnival on green grass and it makes your carnival look so much better,” Sutton said. 

Inspectors check the fair rides every day for any safety or mechanical issues.

If you want to find out what other activities are taking place at the fair this year, click here

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