The South Dakota State Fair at 1060 3rd Street SW, Huron, has been an integral event on the calendar since 1885. With a focus on family, youth, community, achievement, and agriculture, it brings hundreds of thousands of people to the fairgrounds every year.
The sun’s always shining at the tail end of August and into September, and camping opportunities are ample. With the festive atmosphere, expansive site, and action-packed schedule every year, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t want to attend this annual event.
The fairgrounds span an entire block, which means you know it’s going to make for a fun five days away from home. You can browse the wares for sale, check out the displays, and even enjoy the premium livestock on offer as well. Each year, officials put on plenty of special events, musical concerts, and opportunities to shop until you drop.
Huron, South Dakota, is also a skip, hop, and a jump from many major tourist attractions. You can meander through Memorial Park, check out the Ravine Park, or wander through the Pyle House Museum. If you have no plans in mind for your next RV holiday, then it might be time to make the South Dakota State Fair your new vacation destination.
If you like to be organized, then you can start by arranging your tickets to the South Dakota State Fair in advance. There are different daily and weekly pass options available for both young and old. If you visit www.sdsstatefair.com, you can also learn about the various daily promotions and discounts available as well. Otherwise, you can have one less thing to organize for your big trip and purchase your tickets when you arrive at the gates.
With farmland and pastures for as far as the eye can see, you’ll surely find that making your way to the South Dakota State Fair is as leisurely as can be. Minor highways such as 37 and 14 lead you to the township of Huron, allowing you to take your time and soak up the countryside without the hustle and bustle of traffic.
It doesn’t matter from which direction you come; you’ll find that parking is plentiful at the State Fair. Lincoln Avenue South boasts plenty of on-street parking on a first-in, first-served basis, while there are two more parking lots along Nevada Avenue. Alternatively, you can set up camp around the outskirts of the fairgrounds if you reserved your RV spot in advance. You will need a permit for all parking types.
If you missed out on accommodation at the fair, you might find yourself staying in your RV on the outskirts of the fairgrounds. Therefore, having public transportation is paramount. State Fair officials cover all bases. In past years, they have run a bus service from the mall area of Huron to the fairgrounds and back again. Take advantage of this service or rideshare when possible.
If you make a reservation in advance, you may be able to camp onsite at one of the many small campground areas around the fairgrounds at Gate H or 13. Gate H, which is across the road from the fairground’s Gate 8, has no shower or restroom. However, Gate 13 across from the northwest side of the fairgrounds does.
There are some electricity hookups, but not all sites have services; there is a dumping station. Pets are allowed. Bookings are on a first in, first served basis. In the past, there has been a best-decorated campsite competition, so there’s no harm in checking out the website for the current theme and putting yourself in the running for a prize.
If you choose not to camp on site, then get in touch with the South Dakota State Fair officials. They often have a list of business owners and families who can rent out space for your RV while you attend the fair. Guests will also find camper-friendly parks within the City of Huron worth closer inspection.
Getting around Huron, the campgrounds, and the fair is a breeze. A bus service operates to take you to and from the grounds, while a trolley runs a consistent route around the fairgrounds as well. If you want to have full control over your transportation, then why not rent a golf cart once you get to the fair? You can’t bring your own, but there are plenty for rent to make site navigation a breeze.
Even though summer turns to fall while the fair’s on, that doesn’t mean you instantly get a front of cold weather. Temperatures remain in the 80s, meaning it’s t-shirt and shorts weather all-around at the South Dakota State Fair. Bring a sweatshirt in case of cloudy conditions, but you’ll probably find it’ll remain in your RV or backpack until night falls. You should also pack comfortable shoes, as there’s a lot of ground to cover at the fairgrounds.
Much of the camping you’ll be doing on the fairgrounds is self-contained. Therefore, you’ll need to make sure that you have all your devices fully charged, your water tanks full, and your waste tanks empty upon arrival. You’ll also need all your camping and cooking appliances to make yourself at home for the next five days.
When you wander over to the fairgrounds, leave much of your gear in the RV. You won’t need to bring much except for the essentials such as money and water in a small backpack. Leave any wheeled transportation, motorized or not, back at your RV for use at the campgrounds.
As the fair runs for five days, you’re going to need to plan and pack for your health and safety for the entirety of the event. Bring any medical equipment and prescription medication with you, as well as sun protection.
Sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen will all be necessary for your trip to Huron, South Dakota. It’s also helpful to be aware of health and safety requirements at the fair. It’s a tobacco-free zone, and alcohol is limited to designated areas.
If all that fairground wandering has you feeling a little peckish, then it might be time to haul out the RV cooker and feed the masses. Any propane cooker you use should have an Overfilling Prevent Devices (OPD), or you may have to head into town for takeout instead. If you run low on supplies, there’s a grocery store within walking distance to stock up while in the area.
Huron is full of different dining options to appeal to various palates. If you want a break from fair food, there’s no harm in going for a wander to see what this South Dakota township has to offer. A five-minute walk down Lincoln Avenue SW will see you faced with many different restaurant and grill options. Otherwise, a little further up the road are family-friendly dining establishments to appeal to all.
Vendors line the road between Recreation Avenue and Independent Midway, meaning you’re not short of options at the South Dakota State Fair. If you don’t have cash, you can withdraw it from the ATM at the Grandstand before making your way to the vendors. There are also opportunities to buy fair merchandise and make a start on your Christmas shopping as well.
Both Police and the Fire Department will be onsite throughout the five days of South Dakota State Fair. The Fire Department’s role is to make sure all vendors and campers are using permissible propane tanks, while the Police are there to make visitors feel safe and secure. For the security of everyone, you won’t be allowed to bring in any motorized or unmotorized wheeled transport, drones, or tobacco products. Don’t be offended if gate security asks to check your bag. No shirt, no shoes, no service.
If you wanted to escape the miserable weather in your home town as summer turns to fall, then there’s no better place than South Dakota to visit. Temperatures remain in the consistent 80s throughout August and September.
Even with a few overcast days in between, you’ll feel confident to pack light with breathable layers and shorts and tees. You may also want to ventilate your RV during the day. You’ll need light blankets and layers at night once you return to your camper to sleep. In the case of any adverse weather conditions, which are rare but do happen, there are various storm shelter facilities around the fairgrounds.
If you’ve stubbed your toe, cut your hand, or sustained any other minor injuries, then make your way to the first aid area. There are attendants on duty during the day at the west end of the Grandstand. For anything urgent, dial 9-11 or head to the medical center a little over a mile away from the fairgrounds.