HURON — The 100th birthday of the South Dakota State Fair Grandstand will be celebrated with the showing of a commemorative reflection video at each of the nightly Grandstand performances, State Fair Manager Peggy Besch said Monday.
Also, the greatly anticipated Toby Keith concert on Friday, Aug. 30 will be followed by a fireworks show, she told city commissioners in her semi-annual update.
Fairgoers will enjoy some new events this year, including an open class cake decorating competition, in honor of the Grandstand anniversary. Cakes are to be decorated to depict the birthday. Also new this year are an open class homemade pie competition and a homemade beer and wine contest, Besch said. Open class floriculture is new, and the carnival is bringing a new ride called “The Puppy Roll.”
New foods at the State Fair will be a German food stand, Wonderstick, smoked chicken legs and sweet teas with collectible mugs.
She provided a rundown of the highlights for each day of the fair.
Besch said with just over three weeks before opening day, the fair is in need of security personnel, crew leaders, gate attendants and shuttle drivers.
The fair runs from Thursday, Aug. 30 through Labor Day Sept. 3. Preview Day, with free gate admission, is Wednesday, Aug. 29.
Besch said the FFA Ag Adventure Center continues to offer a variety of educational programs and experiences to show case modern agriculture practices.
Exhibits will include Farm 360 videos as well as a kiosk dedicated to healthy food choices and a robotic dairy milker.
“Of course, the center will still have sows that are due to give birth during the fair, as well as baby chicks, hens, cows and dairy bottle calves,” she said.
Besch said 1,697 campers have reserved spots this year.
She also said she wanted to thank all of the many volunteers, the business community, Huron Chamber & Visitors Bureau and Beadle County and the city of Huron employees for Huron’s tremendous success in hosting the National Junior High Finals Rodeo in June. The city will play host again next June.
She said there were 1,068 contestants and 1,356 animal stalls.
Besch said attendance at the finals in Huron was 47,023, higher than the number who attended the event in Des Moines in 2014-2015 and Lebanon, Tenn., in 2016-2017.
As for other off-season events, she said the fairgrounds has hosted 86 events, equating to 202 event days. That number is down slightly from a year ago due to the cancellation of two significant events – the South Dakota Junior High Finals and the Barrel Bash – due to the April snow storm and the discontinuation of the racing program.
As for maintenance and repairs, Besch said work includes an Open Class Beef Barn electrical project, Cotton King Avenue asphalt surfacing and drainage, Poultry Barn and Senior Center asphalt roof replacements, Dairy Barn roof work and phase three of the Grandstand improvement project.
• Approved the transfer of Michael Juelfs from a solid waste maintenance position to a parks and recreation maintenance position.
• Approved the transfer of Bob Hentzi from a solid waste maintenance position to a water-sewer uncertified operator position.
• Promoted Bruce Hartley within the water-sewer treatment department.
• Awarded a $444, 895 bid to Premier Contracting LLC of Huron for water main replacement work
• Renewed an E911 contract with Kingsbury County.