The Sioux Empire Fair, a staple event in Sioux Falls, is getting ready to open its gates to fairgoers this summer.  However, the thousands of visitors that attend the fair each year should be prepared to see some changes.

Dakota News Now is reporting that the organizers of the 81st annual event have been establishing procedures for this year's festivities based on the ill effects of the fluid COVID-19 pandemic.  Country Drenth with the Sioux Empire Fair tells Dakota News Now that individuals can expect more sanitizing stations. "We are making sure to take extra precautions for the fair. We’ve ordered extra handwashing stations; extra hand sanitizer and we’re working with city and county leaders to make sure that we can provide to the best fair to our patrons,” explains Drenth.

The Sioux Empire Fair officials have been in constant communication with other fairs across the nation in order to ensure the public's health as well as to effectively address safety concerns.   Even the vendors at the Sioux Empire Fair, like Dakota Snow, tell Dakota News Now they are ready for anything and everything.  This popular vendor has been part of the fair landscape for years, and this pandemic is not going to deter its success.  Dakota Snow owner Jessica Rooney informed Dakota News Now, “We are going to set up as we’ve always set up and been ready for the crowd, whether there’s a crowd or not a crowd, we are going to be there and be ready.”

At the end of the day, Sioux Empire Fair officials want to give people something to look forward to in light of all cancellations and postponements.

Currently, The Sioux Empire Fair is also working on a safety plan and extra precautions for concerts and entertainment held at the grandstand.

This year's 81st annual Sioux Empire Fair will once again be held at the W.H. Lyons Fairgrounds beginning on July 31st and continuing through August 8th.

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