Missouri State Fair kicks off with opening ceremony and parade

2 months 6 days 26 minutes ago Thursday, August 09 2018 Aug 9, 2018 Thursday, August 09, 2018 9:43:00 PM CDT August 09, 2018 in News
By: Stephanie Sandoval, KOMU 8 Reporter

SEDALIA - Hundreds of people traveled to Sedalia Thursday for the opening day of the Missouri State Fair. 

The fair kicked off with an opening ceremony. Governor Mike Parson and his wife, Teresa, attended the ceremony along with others from the agricultural community to ring in the 116th year of the state fair. 

During his speech, Parson said the fair hits close to home being a long-time farmer himself. He said he used to come to the fair when he was a kid and that it has really shaped the way he looks at agriculture.

"Two-thirds of our state is covered by more than 100,000 farmers in the state of Missouri and we need to do everything we can to sustain our number one industry and make sure it stands strong for the future of generations," Parson said.  
The director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture, Chris Chinn, also spoke at the ceremony. She said the fair is a great place for young people to grow and learn about leadership in the agriculture industry. 
"I think the Missouri State Fair is agriculture's greatest homecoming," Chinn said. "It's a great time for all of us to get together — kind of like a family reunion. Not only does my family look forward to this event, but many families from all across the state of Missouri."

Mark Wolfe, the director of the Missouri State Fair, estimates there will be around 30,000 total entries this year — maybe even a little more than last year. 

The fair also kicked off the day with an opening day parade down State Fair Boulevard. Multiple groups and organizations participated in the parade. Some people were dressed in costumes, arrived in fancy vehicles or via horse. 

There was also a live performance from Montgomery Gentry with Whiskey Myers at 7:30 p.m. at the Pepsi Grandstand Stage. Fireworks followed after the concert. 

This year's fair will have six nights of fireworks, which the director said is a boost from last year. 

The fair runs through Aug. 19. 

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