Missouri State Fair officials announced attendance numbers for the 2018 event on Tuesday.
According to a news release, 340,957 people attended the 11-day Fair in Sedalia.
“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,” Gov. Mike Parson said in the release. “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.”
The 2018 event also had more than 28,000 livestock and competitive exhibit entries and thousands of Missouri 4-H and FFA youth participants.
“The 2018 Fair celebrated all of the things that make our state great,” Fair Director Mark Wolfe said in the release. “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.”
During 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 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.
The 2019 Fair will be hosted Aug. 8-18 in Sedalia. For more information, visit www.mostatefair.com.