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330K visitors attended 2021 State Fair

Gov. Mike Parson and Missouri State Fair Director Mark Wolfe said 330,125 visitors attended the fair in August, welcoming Missourians back to the state’s annual agricultural celebration

Parson touted this year’s attendance and the celebration of Missouri’s No. 1 industry, saying “summer just wouldn’t be complete” without the annual event. 

“Agriculture is Missouri’s top economic driver, and the Missouri State Fair is an important time to celebrate the efforts of our farmers and ranchers as well as the young people who work hard on their projects year-round,” Parson said in a statement. “Missouri State Fair commissioners, staff, vendors, exhibitors, and everyone involved should be proud of their efforts to make the 2021 fair a success. It has been a challenging year, but it was great to welcome thousands of fairgoers back to the fairgrounds.”

This year’s fair was back in full swing after a pivot to a youth livestock show in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Everything from Grandstand concerts to the butter cow sculpture returned this year, with several additions to celebrate 200 years of statehood. The Bicentennial Quilt and Struggle for Statehood display capped off the state’s anniversary on the fairgrounds. 

Nearly 23,800 participants entered agricultural exhibitions this year, with thousands of youth presenting livestock. 

Parson joined students, state leaders, and elected officials in packing share boxes for Feeding Missouri, a coalition of the state’s six food pantries. More than 1,000 boxes and 203,540 meals were prepared during this year’s fair. 

Wolfe, who works with the commission and staff to prepare for the fair year-round, said it was rewarding to return the fair to its full glory this year. 

“It was great to have the traditional Missouri State Fair back again this past August,” Wolfe said. “It was exciting to see our youth exhibitors showing off the best of Missouri agriculture, along with all the other friends and families we missed last year. Thanks to all the staff at the Missouri Department of Agriculture, State Fair staff, our dedicated fair-time staff that returns year after year to help put this event on, and certainly to Gov. Parson and the legislature for their continued support of Missouri agriculture and the State Fair.”

The 2022 Missouri State Fair is scheduled for Aug. 11-21 in Sedalia.