10 Things You Won't Want to Miss at the SD State Fair

Posted: 8/31/2016

South Dakota State Fair is finally back for another year! There are many new additions to the fair that we can’t wait to check out, and yearly exhibits that we couldn’t live without. Hundred of activities and thousands of exhibits will be viewed over the next five days, but we’ve narrowed it down to the top 10 things you need to see at the State Fair.

1) The FFA Ag Adventure Center.  You may have been there in the past when it was an excellent place to pet animals of all shapes and sizes. Now it’s revamped, and guests will get to see how farmers care for chickens, pigs, and cows in modern facilities. In addition, there will be all types of baby animals born throughout the fair!


Photo Credit: SD FFA Foundation

2) Dairy Bar. On a hot day at the fair, be sure to stop in the Dakota Market Place for a cool treat! Fresh malts, unlimited chocolate milk, and SDSU ice cream will help you cool down this weekend. All of these treats are made possible by local dairy farmers, and processed in South Dakota!   Screen_Shot_2016-08-31_at_11.26.11_AM.png
3) SD Stock Dog Association Trial and Make-A-Wish Dog Auction. Working stock dogs are an important part of many SD farms and ranches. On Thursday in the Hippodrome, stock dogs and handlers compete by taking sheep through a series of obstacles. At 5pm, the SD Stock Dog Association will be auctioning a trained border collie that was donated by one of their members. All proceeds from the auction will go towards the SD Make-A-Wish organization.  Border_Collie_and_Sheep.jpg
4) Pork Butt Battle. If you are a lover of BBQ this is an event you won’t want to miss! On Friday teams will spend the day preparing their best pork butt, and you’ll get to taste the juicy results. Sample some of the best pork in the state and cast your vote for the People’s Choice winner!  Pork_Butt_Battle.jpg 
Photo Credit: SD State Fair
5) Century Farm Recognition. Farming and ranching is family tradition in South Dakota; 1 in 11 farms have been in the same family for more than 100 years! On Thursday, 100 and 125 year Century Farm inductees will be recognized. It’s amazing to see the families that have kept the family in the farm for over a century. Screen_Shot_2016-08-31_at_12.05.04_PM.png 
6) Cattlemen’s Beef Stand. Sometimes at the fair you feel the need to skip a funnel cake and eat something substantial. When that time hits, head over the Cattlemen’s Beef Stand in the food court and order a beef sandwich or Philly! You’ll also be supporting local farmers and ranchers, because the beef is South Dakota raised and processed. After eating either sandwich your need for fair food will be satisfied, and you’ll be full until supper.  



Photo Credit: Flicker/Phil Denton

 7) Livestock Shows. If you’re an animal lover, stop by anyone of the multiple livestock shows happing every day at the fair! Pigs, sheep, beef cattle, goats, chickens, dairy cattle, and rabbits are all primped and ready to be exhibited. Children and adults have spent long hours this summer working with their livestock and it’s fun to see hard work be rewarded.    Sawyer_Showing.jpg
 8) Pork Stand. When you’re hungry at the fair there are many food stands that could be tempting, but nothing beats a juicy pork loin sandwich. It’s been a family tradition to get a least one at the fair every year. This year, they are adding pulled pork sandwiches and pork bacon tender sticks to menu. I was lucky to have a preview of these new menu items, and they are just as delicious as the pork loin sandwich. Local pig farmers grill all of the meat to perfection right at the stand! Pork.jpg 
 9) Cheese sculpture demonstration. You may have seen sculptures made of marble, bronze, wood, or even butter, but I’m betting you have yet to see a sculpture made a cheese. Stop by the Dakota Market place Friday or Saturday to see a block of cheese be transformed into a work of art!  IMG_0284.jpg
 10) 4-H Nordby Exhibit Hall. This year will be it’s grand opening, and will host thousands of 4-H exhibits. The talents of 4H members from across the state will be showcased, and it’s always a good opportunity to get ideas for your own DIY projects at home!


Photo credit: SD Dept. of Ag



These are just a few of the hundreds of things to do at the South Dakota State Fair. Take a look at the complete schedule and map to plan your weekend! See you at the fair!


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