Governor Mike Parson and Missouri State Fair Director Mark Wolfe announced that nearly 350,000 visitors attended the annual State Fair in Sedalia, which was held Aug. 10-20, 2023. The figure reflects an approximate two-and-a-half percent increase from last year.
“Like many Missourians, the Missouri State Fair is a longstanding tradition for our family,” Governor Parson said. “The First Lady and I took our own children to the Fair when they were young and it’s an absolute joy to continue making those lasting memories with our grandchildren today. No other event showcases Missouri agriculture like the Missouri State Fair, and we’re proud of the exceptional work our team does every year to ensure more Missouri families can enjoy the State Fair.”
Special events and exhibits celebrated the 2023 Fair theme “Where Traditions Grow.” Statistics from fairgoer surveys consistently show that one of the top reasons guests attend the Fair is because it is a tradition for their family.
“This year we showcased many of the traditions that Missourians have come to love about the Fair,” Director Mark Wolfe said. “We asked fairgoers to share their traditions with us and posted those on our social media throughout the summer and on signage around the grounds during the Fair. The Missouri Grown Traditions Scavenger Hunt also highlighted the many traditions our fairgoers submitted to us.”
The agriculture showcase, family-friendly attractions and shows, fair food and drink, shopping, and camping also ranked high in the list of why fairgoers came to the Fair in 2023. Concerts were also an important part of the fairgoer experience this year, with the sold-out Lainey Wilson show and nearly sold-out Nelly concert coming in as the most popular.
The carnival midway was a popular destination for Fair guests, recording its second-highest year for revenue with the first Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday coming in as the biggest days on record.
Missouri Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn announced that entry numbers were also encouraging with more than 25,500 livestock and competitive entries shown at the State Fair in 2023. Notable increases in livestock entries shown included 37 percent for dairy cattle and 30 percent for rabbits. Agriculture Building entries for hams, bacon and summer sausage, apiculture, and horticulture increased 33 percent.
“The Missouri State Fair is our state’s largest agriculture showcase and a chance to celebrate Missouri’s top economic driver,” Missouri Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn said. “The Fair becomes the industry’s biggest family reunion and is an annual tradition for FFA and 4-H families. People from across the state come to Sedalia each year to enjoy youth exhibits, carnival rides, and food. It was wonderful to see so many people having a good time at the Fair.”
The 2024 Fair will be held Aug. 8-18 in Sedalia.