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Noem Administration Cool with Higher State Fair Ticket Prices

Governor Kristi Noem just raised your State Fair ticket price.

Well, not Noem herself, but she sent her Secretary of Agriculture (and Natural Resources) Hunter Roberts to tell the Legislature’s Rules Review Committee to raise those prices:

Admission prices will go up this year at the South Dakota State Fair.

For people age 16 and older, daily gate charges will rise to $10 from $6, while the week-long passbook will be $40, up from $25.

For youths ages 6 through 15, daily charges will be $5 rather than $4, and the week-long passbook will now cost $20, up from $15.

…Also testifying for the increases was Hunter Roberts, the governor’s cabinet secretary for the state Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources. The State Fair operates as one of its divisions.

Roberts said a subcommittee developed the numbers. The increases will generate about $180,000 this year, based on past attendance. “We do not like to be in this position but certainly think it is necessary,” he said [Bob Mercer, “South Dakota State Fair Raises Entrance Prices,” KELO-TV, 2023.05.02].

I thought Kristi Noem was making South Dakota freer. But instead of making the State Fair freer, she’s making it more expensive. Thanks, Kristi!


  1. Sam2 2023-05-04 08:29

    Joe Bidens reckless spending is to blame. All the crazy democrats spending has caused inflation. Give Noem credit she is keeping costs down. Bidens record inflation is the root cause.

  2. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-05-04 08:38

    yeah, because the economy turns on a dime, and the far greater dollars, poured into the economy in the form of deficit spending by the Trump administration and the 2020 Congress in response to the coronavirus epidemic, had absolutely nothing to do with greater money supply, greater demand for goods and services, kinks in the supply chain, and the inflation that resulted.

  3. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-05-04 08:40

    We could all solve state-fair ticket, price inflation by just not going to the state fair. Reduce demand, and the state will have to lower its fair prices, right?

  4. O 2023-05-04 09:32

    Sam2, President Biden’s reckless spending on what? Help me understand your argument with some details.

  5. P. Aitch 2023-05-04 10:24

    Well, well, well, if you’re grumbling about the ten bucks admission fee to the South Dakota State Fair, hold your horses there, partner. Let me tell you, for just a couple of dimes more than a fast-food combo meal, you get to experience one of the most exciting and enjoyable events in the state. This is not your average county fair, folks; we are talking about the South Dakota State Fair! From the delightful aroma of competition grade Midway prepared “Fair Food” to the adrenaline-pumping rides, and not forgetting the live entertainment, including big-name performers, this event has something for everyone. And hey, if you’re worried about making your dollars stretch, consider the pure joy and memories that come with experiencing one of the best state fair in the USA. So, ten bucks? That’s not just fair, that’s a downright bargain!
    We in Colorado are jealous. Our fair isn ten percent as grand as yours.

  6. larry kurtz 2023-05-04 11:52

    Sam’s Faceberg page is one anti-vax diatribe after another. What in Hell is wrong with these people?

  7. Vi Kingman 2023-05-04 14:07

    I agree with “O” about Sam2. List some specifics.
    But like most right wing Republicans he won’t because that would require work.

  8. e platypus onion 2023-05-04 14:35

    Don’t forget dumbass dubya’s 2 taxcuts for the wealthy and 2 unnecessary wars paid for by credit cards. and a severe recession dumped in Obama’s lap.

  9. Bonnie B Fairbank 2023-05-04 16:53

    Hmmm, maybe I’ve beem missing out on SD’s state fair, P. Aitch. I’ve been to Indiana’s, Minnesota’s, and Colorado’s, and I thought they were all exceptionally wretched. I’m not a big fan of fairs in general; too peopley for me, and the big, fat guy in a Confederate flag wife beater T-shirt bazooka barfing Coors on me didn’t improve my opinion.

  10. All Mammal 2023-05-04 20:30

    Free Spencer Goss! They arrested him for prank phone calls. The news said he had disguised his phone number to appear as Governor Noem’s on caller id. Oops. I wonder if Knoep would be one of Israel’s Pegasus cellphone spyware customers..

  11. grudznick 2023-05-04 20:56

    What? Surely you are joshing us, Ms. Mammal..
    Young Mr. Goss is a real journalist.

  12. grudznick 2023-05-04 21:09

    Ms. Fairbank is righter than right about these fairs. They should all just be shut down, like Mr. H proposes. There is no cultural or entertainment value there.

  13. Arlo Blundt 2023-05-04 21:21

    Take 37/34 to the Fair and you can buy a Forestburg Melon (either a Larson or a Baysinger) on the way home. They are always a bargain and great for your Labor Day weekend.

  14. Mark Anderson 2023-05-04 21:47

    There’s nothing like taking a urine in Huron, Bonnie.

  15. Frank Kloucek 2023-05-04 22:20

    Raising gate ticket prices by this large amount is counterproductive and may well lead to reduced attendance. The State Fair has a wonderful and long history of livestock shows, good concerts 4 H involvement for youth at all levels, FFA involvement, car shows, excellent free entertainment at various stages, excellent chicken and rabbit shows and so much more. However: Janklow’s razor wire fences, moving the state fair starting date from Labor Day weekend to the end of July, high taxes on concessions and equipment sales made at the fair, high booth rent, raising gate admissions, ill-fated 9 day fair and other issues have held down the fair’s success over the years. Thank goodness for folks like Senator Charlie Flowers from Iroquois SD, Rep. Peggy Gibson from Huron SD and
    Ag Secretary Larry Gabriel from Quinn SD stood up for the state fair time and time again.
    Bigger farms, the corporate ag production model, industrialized livestock production and processing have taken a huge toll on family farm agriculture and the State Fair. Luckily the State Fair still attracts a core of both urban, suburban and rural constituencies. Pricing gate tickets at almost double of last year will not do what the Sec of Ag and Governor Noem wish for. It seems like this has been tried in the past with not very good results.

    If we need money for operation of the state fair maybe the huge trust investment industry could make donations to the state fair perpetually with a built-in inflation factor of 3 percent or the cost-of-living adjustment whichever is greater. This would be in lieu of any taxes on this mega monster tax shelter South Dakota industry.

    The South Dakota State Fair has helped make a lifetime of cherished memories for many South Dakotans. Let us do our very best to make sure it remains a viable tradition of success and value to South Dakota.

  16. Arlo Blundt 2023-05-05 00:12

    I thought the new State Fair Rodeo grounds were going to be some sort of cash cow which would give Fair revenue a big shot in the arm. What happened there?? Haven’t heard anything about the new rodeo arena or a rodeo at the state fair. Doubling the gate admission seems like desperation to me.

  17. O 2023-05-05 08:53

    I propose the following: State Fair prices are being artificially (not driven by underlying costs) to further drive the anti-Biden inflation narrative (even though the President didn’t raise State Fair prices).

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