Sioux Empire Fair curfew could stay for next years fair

The increase in the number of families has been seen by all those involved with the fair.
Published: Aug. 13, 2021 at 10:44 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - For the first time, the Sioux Empire Fair had a curfew in place for minors after 9 pm, making the change on Monday after seeing too many unaccompanied minors at night.

Fair officials say the problem of having too many unaccompanied minors at night is not just a Sioux Falls problem, other fairs they reached out to have had similar issues.

But the curfew has done more than just keeping kids from being unattended.

“The curfew was implemented Monday night since then we’ve seen a drastic reduction of in the numbers of unattended underaged children, we’ve also seen a drastic increase in the numbers of families that have come out to the fair,” said Sheriff Adam Zishka, Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Commander.

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The increase in the number of families has been seen by all those involved with the fair.

“The carnival operator came and said you know what we’ve been doing this for 55 years this is the most families together we’ve seen in a long time, so that was refreshing to see that,” said Scott Wick, President, and CEO of the Sioux Empire Fair

Sheriff Zishka says he has had families tell him they are glad for the curfew enforcement.

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“A lot of the families that have been here year after year, some of them expressed to me that at some points they avoided coming out here at night due to the large gathering of children but now they’re more willing to come out here and that’s what we’re striving for,” said Sheriff Zishka.

The curfew may have been a new rule added this year, but fair officials expect a similar rule to be enforced in the future.

“What I’m getting from security, law enforcement, and the agencies we work with on the board, is that with what we’ve seen happen I fully expect that this is going to be part of how we do business moving forward,” said Wick.

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