I think the Sioux Empire Fair needs more space. After spending some time on the fairgrounds this past week, I couldn’t escape the feeling that the baby goats were just a little too close for comfort along the main walkway.
We’re talking with the fair managers on Thursday morning here at the Argus Leader and I’ll ask about that as well as some other topics concerning the annual summer event.
Regarding the subject of the design and layout of the fair, I wonder why, when you park in the lot east of the grandstand, are you funneled through an entrance that runs right along the Beer Garden. I have nothing against that setting myself, but if you’re pushing a stroller or have the grandkids along, you might prefer a little more scenic route, especially in the evening. There is an alternative path, but for some reason, a chained gate stopped us from taking it.
The claustrophobic feel continued for me on the north end of the fairgrounds as well. We sat down to play some bingo in the big tent set up near the National Guard Armory. The carnival rides are right next to it. The noise and songs were so loud that you could hardly hear the caller.
Maybe that giant roller coaster took more than its share of acreage, I don’t know. But I felt crowded.
Overall, though, it’s a pretty nice fair with a lot of energy and activity. Some of the free stage performances were excellent and the chislic was right on.
The grounds and buildings could use a little work, though.
I took in the Tracy Lawrence concert and left with a wood sliver in my hand from the ragged benches in the grandstand.
If you have questions, comments or ideas for the Sioux Empire Fair managers, you can ask them by logging on to argusleader.com at 9 a.m. Thursday.
Hope you can join us.