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Central States Fair beefs up security during the 10 day event

RAPID CITY, S.D. – People attending the Central States Fair this year can expect to see enhanced security measures improvements. The fair runs for 10 days, through Sunday, August 27, 2023 in Rapid City.

Following three gun-related incidents at last year’s Fair, the organization has installed additional lighting to improve night-time visibility, the installation of metal detectors at the entrance gates and additional security staffing and more stringent enforcement of the “No Weapons” policy.

According to the assistant general manager of the Central States Fair, John Kaiser, the response organizers saw after adding more security measures last year was positive and factored in the decision this year to once again beef up security.

To enforce the policy, the Central States Fair has hired a private security firm to operate metal detectors at each of the public entrances. “This level of security for the fair is new to Rapid City but is being instituted at fairgrounds across the country,” said Central States Fair General Manager Ron Jeffries. The Fair will continue the policy of no admission onto the fairgrounds after 10 pm each night although the carnival will operate until midnight.

As in years past, the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office will have a significant presence at the fair. According to Sheriff Brian Mueller, “The Fair is our signature summer event in Pennington County and we work hard to make it safe and enjoyable for all who attend. Look for our command post parked near the grandstand if you need law enforcement assistance.”

The best plan to enjoy the Central States Fair is to arrive early and take advantage of the free entertainment or the tailgate area prior to attending a grandstand show.

 

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