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Sioux Empire Fair is ready if more weather challenges appear

Published: Aug. 6, 2021 at 10:46 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Thursday night’s storms forced concert-goers to find shelter and the cancellation of the Old Dominion show that was supposed to kick off a week of fun at the Sioux Empire Fair.

Getting people evacuated in a timely manner turned into a challenge.

“We got together with the local authorities that were here last night and had a debriefing on how we handled things last night, we think were overall very good,” said Scott Wick, President, and CEO of the Sioux Empire Fair. “The problem is with social media and cell phones and different posts that were out there, the wrong messages were being sent out there at certain times.”

Wick made an announcement over the loudspeaker telling those in attendance that they needed to leave for their safety. He says it took several announcements for that to actually happen.

“We want people to enjoy the fair, have the experience,” said Wick. “We’re proud of the format we have for most of our concerts and the affordability to come out here and spend up to 12 hours in one day, but when we make an announcement for your safety it’s serious, you need to take that seriously.”

If any type of weather problem occurs again this weekend, event organizers say listening to the announcements is key, but if you can’t hear them, they will make sure the information is out there and easy to find.

“We’ll post social media updates, we also have a texting service that will get posts out as fast as we can just to keep people informed,” said Courtney Hokanson, Sioux Empire Fair Director of Marketing and Public Relations.

If a severe weather situation happens again, it is recommended those at the fair wait in their vehicles or at the armory until new details are released.

A link to the Sioux Empire Fair media pages and event list can be found by clicking here.

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