SEDALIA, Mo. – Governor Mike Parson and Fair Director Mark Wolfe have announced attendance for the 2018 Missouri State Fair. Final numbers for the 11-day event confirm that 340,957 people attended this year’s Fair.
“We are so proud of the work our Missouri State Fair staff put in to this great event, welcoming everyone back home to the Missouri State Fair,” Governor Mike Parson said. “Farming is one of the most honorable professions a Missourian can maintain and we celebrated those men and women every day of the Missouri State Fair. This was a great time to remind ourselves, and the rest of the state, how important agriculture is to Missouri, and a time to dust ourselves off and remember the passion we have for our industry.”
With more than 28,000 livestock and competitive exhibit entries, and thousands of Missouri 4-H and FFA youth participants, the Fair continues to fulfill its mission of promoting excellence in Missouri agriculture and cultivating future agriculture leaders.
“The 2018 Fair celebrated all of the things that make our state great,” Fair Director Mark Wolfe said. “The Fair is certainly the showcase for Missouri agriculture, and when you add in livestock shows, competitive exhibits, great concerts and entertainment, Fair food, shopping and demonstrations, it all comes together to make an ideal destination for Missourians each August.”
There were many successes to be celebrated at the 2018 Missouri State Fair. Gov. Parson was the guest of honor and keynote speaker at the sellout Governor’s Ham Breakfast on Thursday, Aug. 16. Proceeds from the auction set records, as did proceeds from the Sale of Champions auction, with funds from both benefiting Missouri youth involved in agriculture.
“The Missouri State Fair has a lasting impact on youth in agriculture each and every year,” Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn said. “Walking through the barns, you could see the pride of each young exhibitor as they find new ways to put their best foot forward. Although we’ve had a tough growing season, I left the 2018 Missouri State Fair more optimistic about the future of agriculture being left in their hands.”
Missouri Farm Families were celebrated on Farm Family Day with 115 farm families representing Missouri’s 114 counties plus St. Louis City in attendance.
The Drive to Feed Kids campaign returned for its second year at the Missouri State Fair, raising more than $145,000 and 1.2 million meals for childhood hunger. Missouri FFA hosted its second Food Insecurity Service Day as part of the Drive to Feed Kids, bringing more than 650 FFA members and ag leaders to the Fair for a packing event that resulted in 100,800 family-sized meals. A total of 18,932 pounds of non-perishable food was donated to local pantries thanks to the donations by fairgoers, as well as cans donated by Woods Supermarket for the Can Creation Contest. This year marked the eighth year for the food drive at the Missouri State Fair and in those eight years, 103,242 pounds of food have been donated, Wolfe said.
Hank Williams, Jr. and Cole Swindell were the top selling concerts in the Pepsi Grandstand, with near sell-out crowds at each of their shows. This year was Swindell’s first appearance at the Missouri State Fair, while this year marked the eleventh performance for Williams.
This year’s Military Appreciation Day was again well attended, with more than 36,000 people on the fairgrounds, including military service men and women and their families. A special afternoon ceremony honored those in attendance with keynote speaker Major General Stephen L. Danner of the Missouri National Guard and remarks from Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe.
The 2019 Fair will be held Aug. 8-18 in Sedalia. For more information about the 2019 Fair, visit www.mostatefair.com, follow the Fair on social media, or call 1-800-422-FAIR (3247).