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Heritage Is King at Turner County Fair

Turner County Fair
(Dan Peters/KSOO)

Even before statehood, there was the Turner County Fair.  In 1880, people gathered to revel in the bounty that their land produced and the annual celebration continues.  The event is over for this year, though more than a few folks are making plans for the 2014 installment.  Bear in mind that South Dakota didn’t become a state until 1889.

There is a nod to time standing still at the fairgrounds in Parker.  A one-room school house was moved to the grounds in the 1960’s to remind fair goers of the rural roots.

Modern elements bridge the gap to the present age with brand new agricultural equipment on display.  Animal exhibits are plentiful and easily accessible complete with numerous hand washing stations.

With the close proximity to Sioux Falls the Turner County Fair draws a great deal of city folk from the northeast.  While enjoying a lunch, a remark from a Viborg man rang clear.  “Volunteers make (the Turner County) fair happen.  And there’s a lot of old people who volunteer.  I just hope the younger folks are ready to take over when it’s their time.”  A pointed comment, but one that’s probably been echoed more than once over the previous 132 editions of the Turner County Fair.  It’s a safe bet that the younger generation will step into those well-worn work boots and continue the success.


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