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Central States Fair celebrates 75 years

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

The Central States Fair in Rapid City, S.D. celebrated its 75-year anniversary with a 10-day run Aug. 21-30. The fair is one of the biggest events of the summer in the Black Hills, and although things were a little bit different, this year’s fair was no exception. 

Like many events across the country, Central States Fair had to do a few things differently this year in response to COVID-19. Therefore, there were no open class exhibits due to safety concerns regarding the worldwide pandemic. 

However, 4-H members were still allowed to exhibit their projects, and all junior livestock shows continued as usual. Rounding out the fair were concerts, a carnival, motocross races, a demolition derby, children’s activities and PRCA rodeos.

In an interview with KOTA TV on Aug. 20, Central States Fair General Manager Ron Jeffries explained some of the added safety measures fairgoers saw this year. 

“Our board of directors spent weeks monitoring reports, data and information from multiple sources to analyze if moving forward with the fair was the right thing to do,” Jeffries said. “Ultimately, we decided people had the right to choose if they wanted to come to the fair or stay home. We took many steps to create a safer environment than a normal year, and we are so excited we had the opportunity to put on the Central States Fair this year.” 

Melissa Burke is a corresponding writer for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

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