Every year, South Dakotans of all ages enjoy attending the fairs across our state. Whether it is the Turner County Fair, Central States Fair, Brown County Fair, Dakotafest, the State Fair, or any event in between, these fairs mark an annual tradition that families look forward to all year.
I know a trip to the State Fair is not complete for me if I don't stop by the Pork Producers' or Cattlemen's booth for a sandwich and learn the latest news from livestock producers. Fairs are also a chance to see familiar faces and reconnect with old friends.
Many of the fairs provide educational opportunities for young people to meet other students who have similar interests from around the state. FFA and 4-H students look forward to opportunities to exhibit produce and craft items, or show the animals they have carefully raised in the months leading up to the fair. When they aren't competing, many of the young people will take a ride or two, pick up a yard stick, or play a few games.
Adults can enjoy perusing the booths at exhibit halls, where they can find the latest gadgets and home products. Many enjoy listening to speakers, watching the daytime entertainment, or taking in an election year debate.
At night, the whole family can round out the day with a concert from a favorite band or attend the rodeo for some entertainment. These large performances always draw a crowd and invite a larger audience to the fair.
Time spent at the fair helps create lasting family memories. Hopefully everyone has had a chance to take in at least some of the sights, tastes, and sounds of this great South Dakota summer tradition.