Music, mutton bustin', rodeo, racing, pig wrestling -- and of course amusement rides -- are among the things you expect at the Central States Fair.
But this year's fair is bringing something new to the Central States Fairgrounds -- a Indigenous Celebration & Expo -- designed to inform and entertain fair-goers of all cultures. The expo on Saturday, Aug. 19, begins at noon with a fashion show. Starting at 1 p.m. and continuing throughout the day, the expo will feature story telling, face painting, crafts and more. Entertainment will feature flute playing, drumming, dance demonstrations, and music featuring Dakota South Records, Sequoia Crosswaite and Brandon Sprague.
The fair officially opens for its 10-day run on Friday, Aug. 18. It concludes Sunday, Aug. 27. Fair hours are noon to midnight daily, with a few exceptions. On Aug. 18, the fair opens at 3 p.m. And on Aug. 21 -- the day of the solar eclipse -- the gates open at 11 a.m., so people can take part in some special eclipse related activities.
Admission is free before 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, $3 per person after that.
Come with a non-perishable food donation for the Boys Scouts Food Drive, Friday, Aug. 18, and gate admission is free.
Grandstand entertainment begins at 7 p.m. each day. The line-up is as follows:
• Aug. 18: Supercross Race
• Aug. 19: Johnson Machine/NAPA Demolition Derby
• Aug. 20: The Band Perry with 35th and Taylor
• Aug. 21: Trace Adkins with LOCASH
• Aug. 22: Dan + Shay with Drake White and the Big Fire
• Aug. 23: Ranch Rodeo Finals, featuring the "Pony Express Ride."
• Aug. 24: PRCA Rodeo, Military Appreciation Night.
• Aug. 25: PRCA Rodeo, Casey Tibbs Night featuring the S.D. State Championship Mutton Bustin' Finals.
• Aug. 26: PRCA Rodeo, First Responders Night.
A grandstand pass lets you see all nine grandstand events for just one price. Prices are $79 for a regular pass or $100 for the premiere pass. Free admission to the fairgrounds is included with the pass.
Prices for individual grandstand shows range from $15 for the rodeo; $17 for the demolition derby and supercross, and $38 for band performances. Children's grandstand tickets are $5.
Daily activities include craft and hobby demonstrations; 4-H contests, and a vast array of entertainment from musicians, magicians, jugglers, storytellers and cowboys.
Not to miss activities include demonstrations by the Rapid City Police Department's K-9 Unit, the Midco Team Pig Wrestling competition and mutton bustin' championship qualifiers.
Carnival Americana provides the midway entertainment.
Ride more, pay less with carnival passes.
Big D Mega Pass is your best deal. For $39 ride all day every day Monday through Friday. Or for amusement ride diehards there is the unlimited Big D Never Say No Super Pass for $79.
Daily wristbands are $30, giving you one day of unlimited rides.
Special deal days include Buddy Day, Wednesday, Aug. 23. Get two all-day wristbands for $40.
Moonlight Madness is Friday, Aug. 25. Ride from 9 pm. to 1 a.m. for just $20. Select retailers are offering $5 coupons, dropping the price to $15 per wristband.
Each day of the fair has a theme:
• Kids Day, Aug. 19-20
• Eclipse Celebration, Aug. 21
• Senior Citizen Day, Aug. 22
• Agriculture Day, Aug. 23
• Military Appreciation Day, Aug. 24
• Moonlight Madness, Aug. 25 -- the fair stays open until 1 a.m.
• First Responders Day, Aug. 26
For a complete list of fair events and activities go to centralstatesfair.com