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Make plans to attend the state fair

If you’re like me, you look forward to the many events that are held in our communities over the summer.  Hopefully you already have plenty of activities lined up in the coming weeks before school begins that will provide fun and fellowship for families of all ages.

If you are still looking for other things to do across Missouri, one event many enjoy in August is the Missouri State Fair, located in Sedalia.  This year’s fair begins on Thursday, August 8 and runs through Sunday, August 18. This 11-day event brings Missourians together from all across the state.

Located in the middle of the state, the fair provides affordable family fun — from exciting rides, good food and top-notch entertainment (much of it free — some shows at 2, 6 and 9 p.m.) to a celebration of one of Missouri’s top industries–agriculture; but there is so much more there to explore.  There are 15 buildings over almost 400 acres.

For a list of events and more detailed information on the daily program schedules, check out their website:  You may also contact the Fair Office toll-free at 800.422.FAIR (3247); 660.530-5600 or  There are special offers for advance-reduced admissions and advance-unlimited carnival ride wristbands.

A special “Military Appreciation Day” is a salute to all who serve(d) and is arranged for Sunday, Aug. 11.  On Sunday, Aug. 18, there will be a law enforcement/ firefighter “appreciation day” for municipal/county/state law enforcement and Missouri firefighters/EMTs/paramedics. These are free admission with appropriate ID; and on both days there is a reduced $1 gate admission for spouse and dependent children.  On Aug. 15, the fair is “Recognizing Women in Agriculture” so a woman’s admission is waived on that day.  For Aug. 17, an admission coupon may be obtained from the local County Extension Office.

Live entertainers (these events do require a purchased ticket) include Aug. 8—Chris Cagle and Will Hoge; Aug. 9—Foreigner and Starship featuring Mickey Thomas; Aug. 10—Gary Allan and Randy Houser; Aug. 13—Chubby Checker; Aug. 14—The Oak Ridge Boys 40th Anniversary Tour and Bluegrass Festival; Aug. 15—Lee Brice and Tyler Farr; Aug. 16—Toby Keith; Aug. 17—Three Days Grace and Hinder.  

Other exciting features include rodeo finals, auto races and tractor pulls:  Aug. 8—MRCA Finals Rodeo; Aug. 11—MO Association Championship Truck & Tractor Pull–Qualifying; Aug. 12—MO Association Championship Truck & Tractor Pull—FINALS and Motocross Finals; Aug. 13—Flat Track TT Race; Aug. 14 – Class/Farm Tractor Pull; Aug. 15—Garden and Mini-Rod Pull and MOSAC Tractor Pullers Assoc.; Aug. 16 and 17—MSF Championship Bull Riding; Aug. 18—Demolition Derby.  

Although tickets may still be available at the fair on the day of the event, it is advisable to check availability and/or purchase before that day, especially for those with “reserved” seating.  One way to do this is to contact Ticketmaster at 800.796.6776 or visit

Most counties have a 4-H youth display with a variety of creative items they have made during the year, so visit the 4-H building to see what young people from your county have on exhibit.  The fair also provides these young people another avenue to show their farm project animals such as cattle, swine, poultry, sheep, equine, chickens, rabbits, etc.  There are draft horse shows, pulls and hitches from the 14th – 18th.  

For anyone who is concerned about accessibility, two handicap accessible parking lots are available through the Main Gate, Gate 11 and the Centennial Gate (off US Highway 65).  Both lots are primarily paved, with overflow areas of solid, well-packed gravel and are reserved for use by individuals displaying valid license plates and/or placards issued by the State of Missouri. Tram shuttles also provide rides from the lots and throughout the grounds.

Since it is some distance away from our southeast location, anyone interested in camping overnight can make plans to stay at the fully-equipped, sixty-acre campground.  It has over 1,100 electrical hook-ups and 700 sewer hook-ups, not to mention many tent sites.  More information about camping provisions can be found at:

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