Pandemic preparations for 81st annual Sioux Empire Fair

Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 4:34 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The 81st annual Sioux Empire Fair is just a few days away in Sioux Falls and the pandemic is changing the way the event is moving forward this year.

Hand washing and sanitizing seems to be a top priority at the 2020 Sioux Empire Fair, as throughout the fairgrounds are many stations.

Courtney Drenth with the Sioux Empire Fair said, “We have been working hard to make sure we are prepared with hand sanitizer, so each dispenser is an automatic dispense up to 1,000 dispenses when it’s full and we have extra hand sanitizer prepared to refill those throughout the week.”

The fair says they have the capability for 1 million doses of sanitizer and are working with the carnival for social distancing.

Drenth added, “We’ve spaced out our rides a little more this year, and worked with the carnival on how the lines will go for the rides to offer a little bit more spacing for people.”

The fair adds that their grandstand entertainment is continuing on as planned, however, a part of the agriculture will be missing.

“We will still have our open and FFA livestock shows, we won’t have 4-H this year due to their restrictions,” Drenth said.

And for all the kids out there, they will have a space to have some fun, and even learn some things too.

Drenth added, “The Dakota News Now kids’ area we have a variety of entertainment happening throughout the day, so bring your kids through the main gate and you can find entertainment. A lot of our entertainers have incorporated hand sanitizing and hand washing within their program to educate kids.”

The Sioux Empire Fair says they understand that this year will be different, and hopes that everyone stays safe.

“Come if you’re comfortable if you want to wear a mask, wear a mask. We have a whole variety of entertainment, we are eight days long, if you want to come out bring your family, we’d love to see you,” said Drenth.

The Sioux Empire Fair begins Saturday, August 1st and will go through August 8th, for more information surrounding the fair you can go to

Copyright 2020 Dakota News Now. All rights reserved.

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