State Fair attendance numbers much better than expected

Farm Forum

HURON – Despite the heat wave that affected the first three days of the State Fair, attendance numbers for this year reached the third highest ever. Total gate attendance was 183,005, down only five percent from last year’s record and much better than expected.

“We knew the heat would affect us but many people still came out to enjoy the Fair when it cooled off on Sunday,” commented Jerome Hertel, South Dakota State Fair manager. “The number of exhibitors, vendors and campers all exceeded last year’s numbers.”

The camping number typically sets the pace for the State Fair, and with a six percent increase, it did just that. Almost 1,700 campers filled the main campgrounds and off grounds lots. Camping revenue was up four percent.

Tax revenues were also higher than the previous year’s numbers, according to the Department of Revenue. The latest figures available show the five-day fair raised $148,031.20 in total tax revenues, higher than the 2012 State Fair when tax revenues reached $143,510.