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4-H fights to save South Dakota State Fair

Oct. 10, 2005 at 7:38 PM

SIOUX FALLS, S.D., Oct. 10 (UPI) -- South Dakota 4-H leaders says the state should shorten the State Fair to five days rather than shutting it down altogether.

While fair manager Susan Hayward is skeptical that it could be shortened to five days, she said, "I think the people of South Dakota would go absolutely berserk," if the fair were shut down entirely.

A state legislative committee is considering how much public money should go toward supporting the fair, a discussion that could lead to phasing out the fair entirely, state Sen. Clarence Kooistra, R-Garretson, told the Sioux Fall (S.D.) Argus-Leader.

Last week, the state fair advisory committee recommended shortening the fair from eight days to five.

Gov. Mike Rounds has also have expressed support for a shorter fair, which has struggled financially and had declining attendance in recent years.

While fair attendance was down about 25 percent this year, 4-H isn't the reason, said 4-H leader Paula Nussbaum.

"When they say nobody attended the state fair, they really weren't looking at the 4-H part of it. 4-H was there," she said.

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