This past August, 356,153 fairgoers visited the 2016 Missouri State Fair in Sedalia, an increase of more than 4,000, according to a press release, issued by Governor Jay Nixon's office.

“For more than 100 years, the Missouri State Fair has been the state’s premier agricultural showcase, and once again Fair Director Wolfe and Agricultural Director Fordyce put on a great event, bringing hundreds of thousands of fairgoers to Sedalia to see the best that Missouri farmers have to offer,” Gov. Nixon said. “Across the country, many state fairs have moved away from their agricultural roots. But here in Missouri, we’ve stuck by our number one industry, and the results have been outstanding. I appreciate everyone who helped make the 2016 Missouri State Fair a tremendous success.”

“I am extremely pleased with attendance this year,” said Missouri State Fair Director Mark Wolfe. “We had a great Fair, and I’m proud that so many Missourians continue to see the State Fair as a destination for their families each August. Statistics from fairgoer surveys indicate that more than 65 percent of State Fair guests attend the Fair because it is a tradition for their family.”

This year, the Fair saw more than 30,000 livestock and competitive entries and involved more than 3,200 Missouri 4-H and FFA youth participants, according to Missouri Director of Agriculture Richard Fordyce.

“The State Fair provides opportunities for agriculturalists of all ages to shine and tell the story of Missouri agriculture,”Director Fordyce said.  “It’s a chance to see young people in agriculture grow in the industry and gain leadership experience.”

Mild weather, an outstanding agriculture showcase, family-friendly attractions, special events and more helped contribute to the success of this year’s event. The carnival midway experienced four days of record sales, and special celebrations and commemorative activities held during the Fair attracted diverse crowds.

More than 100 Boys and Girls Club youth attended the Fair on Opening Day, participating in the Opening Day Ceremony in front of the Agriculture Building, and then enjoyed a busy day of entertainment on the fairgrounds.  The Opening Day Parade included more than 100 units in a procession along Missouri State Fair Boulevard.

Kurt Parsons