State Fair attendance returns to pre-pandemic levels

November 1, 2022

PIERRE, S.D.–More than 192,000 people attended the South Dakota State Fair in Huron in 2022, marking a return to pre-pandemic levels.

The exact attendance figure released Monday by the South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources was 192,279 guests across the five-day event in early September, with nearly 2,000 campers staying on the fairgrounds. Fairgoers spent more than $2.8 million on food, goods and carnival rides, with more than $244,000 in tax revenue collected.

The attendance figures are higher than 2021, when more than 181,000 guests attended, and markedly higher than for 2020. That year, just 108,000 people showed up, spending $1.3 million.

About 205,000 people attended the fair in 2019, the last to take place before the pandemic. The largest attendance total in the era of a five-day fair was 2018, when more than 217,000 people walked through the gates.