South Dakota State Fair announces a new opening day

The South Dakota State Fair is excited to announce a significant expansion for 2024, shifting the official start date from Thursday to Wednesday, adding a day to the fair. The change will accommodate all livestock shows within the week of the fair and provide a more enriching and complete experience for exhibitors, vendors, and fairgoers.

The change provides families attending the fair the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the diverse array of fair experiences, while continuing to participate in Open Class, 4-H, and FFA exhibits. These vital showcases form the backbone of the State Fair’s agricultural heritage, and it is important to include ample time for participants to enjoy all the activities the South Dakota State Fair has to offer.

Adding Wednesday as an official fair day maximizes participation from livestock producers and vendors and provides increased public enjoyment, diversified programming, educational opportunities, and enhanced family engagement.

Preliminary plans for the first day of the 2024 State Fair, Wednesday, August 28 include:

  • Admission gates will open at 7 am, with discounted ticket prices;
  • Open Class Beef Show will begin at 8am;
  • Vendor buildings will be open from 9 am to 8pm;
  • Food vendors will be open at 11am;
  • Entertainment will be on select free stages;
  • Carnival will open at 3pm;
  • Grounds entertainment shows will occur throughout the day; and,
  • Red Wilk Construction Tuff Hedeman Bull Bash in the Grandstand at 8pm.

The 2024 South Dakota State Fair kicks off on Channel Seeds Opening Day Wednesday, August 28, through Monday, September 2. For more information on State Fair events, contact the Fair office at 800-529-0900, visit