Wednesday attendance set Dakotafest recordTotal attendance for three-day show was about 30,000, organizer says.
By: Ross Dolan, The Daily Republic
A tired but satisfied Ray Bianchi watched Dakotafest vendors pack up and head home Thursday evening. The three days of Dakotafest drew more than 30,000 attendees, he estimated, but actual crowd counts were not disclosed.
“It was great,” said Bianchi, vice president and group show director for IDEAg farm shows.
Wednesday — debate day — was pivotal for the popular show and drew in excess of 10,000 visitors, which Bianchi said will set a single-day attendance record for Dakotafest’s 17-year history.
He said the congressional debate between Rep. Kristi Noem and challenger Matt Varilek “went very, very, well,” and the show’s interconnectivity sessions were also strongly attended. The new sessions stressed the growing role of technology in farming operations.
The show drew 612 vendors who were eager to share their wares.
“We lost some attendees because of the drought,” Bianchi said, “but we did OK.”
It was the fourth straight week of farm shows for Bianchi and his staff, who came to Mitchell immediately after closing Farmfest in Minnesota.
If there’s anything he would like to see next year, it’s an increase in high-tech vendors — and moisture.
“Hopefully, it will rain. We’ll see what happens.”