The South Dakota State Fair saw its numbers climb this year. In some cases, by quite a bit.
“Weather was on our side. That’s always a big help,” the State Fair’s assistant manager Candi Briley said Wednesday.
There was good entertainment too by several musical acts. Grandstand shows featured Toby Keith on Friday night, Foreigner and Night Ranger on Saturday, then Gary Allan and Sawyer Brown on Sunday.
Briley said they formed “the best trio” in many years.
“That helped drive the attendance each day,” she said.
More than 217,000 people attended the annual event in Huron over the Labor Day weekend. That is up 2.5 percent from last year. Gate revenue rose 3.6 percent.
The fair also sold 13 percent more grandstand tickets. And grandstand revenue climbed 56 percent.
Other numbers went up too.
Carnival revenue rose 7 percent.
There were 1,984 camper units, up 1.5 percent
4-H livestock exhibits were up 3 percent.
There were 14 percent more FFA exhibitors and 32 percent more FFA entries.
People spent more money on food and goods, too. Vendors saw sales increase 2.8 percent.
That helped the state treasury receive more tax revenue, too.
The South Dakota Revenue Department said State Fair-related tax collections totaled nearly $207,000. That was up from about $191,000 over last year. Those numbers include state and local taxes.
The 2019 State Fair runs Thursday, August 29 through Labor Day Monday, September 2.
Briley said the State Fair Commission will pay attention to the strong entertainment and the many suggestions from fair-goers this year.
“We certainly have a tall order for next year with this year’s success,” Briley said.