Ryan Hurd

RYAN HURD will headline the Dakota-Thurston County Fair on Friday, Aug. 5 in South Sioux City.

SOUTH SIOUX CITY — It’s been a while since Dakota-Thurston County Fair has hosted a live concert.

Fair manager Lisa Bousquet said she’s excited that’s changing this year. The fair is set to take place Wednesday, Aug. 3, through Sunday, Aug. 7, at the fairgrounds is South Sioux City.

Nashville singer-songwriter Ryan Hurd will be the featured entertainment at this year’s fair. Hurd has garnered more than 698 million career streams worldwide and caught the attention of entertainment tastemakers, including Billboard, and NBC’s “Today.”

“We’re really excited to have a big concert this year. It’s been a long time since we’ve had live music,” Bousquet said before adding that live music hadn’t been part of the fair since before she began serving on the board.

With co-writing credits on some of country music’s biggest hits by Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan, Hurd — a native of Kalamazoo, Michigan — has continued his hit-producing path with “Chasing After You,” his first official duet with wife Maren Morris. The tune became country radio’s most-added song its impact week in March.

“Chasing After You” follows “Every Other Memory,” dubbed one of the “Best Songs of April 2020” by Time. His platinum-certified Top 20 single, “To A T,” went to the top spot on SiriusXM The Highway’s Hot 30 Countdown.

Opening for Hurd will be up-and-coming Iowa native Dane Louis.

This year’s fair also will include a packed slate of other activities, kicking off at 7 p.m. Wednesday with the Little Prince and Princess contest.

The fair moves into full swing on Thursday with a swine show at 8 a.m., followed by rabbits and poultry in the early afternoon. Barrel racing will kick off at 6 p.m., which also is when the parade will take place on Dakota Avenue. At 7 p.m. the Tri-State Shootout Tractor Pull will get underway. The tractor pull will coincide with the opening of the beer garden and the Knights of Columbus nut fry.

Farmers Pride will host a free community breakfast beginning at 7:30 a.m. Friday. The beef show will take place at 8:30 a.m., followed by the bucket calf show and sheep show later in the day. The South Sioux City Chamber will host coffee at 9:30 a.m. In the afternoon, kids’ day activities will run from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. The featured entertainment of Ryan Hurd, with opening act Dane Louis, will begin at 7:30 p.m.

A full day of activities is in store for Saturday, starting with the goat show at 8:30 a.m., followed by the 4-H horse show at 9:30 a.m. A cornhole tournament will commence at 10 a.m., and the kids’ pedal pull will get underway at the expo center at 10:30 a.m. Kids’ day carnival games will take place from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., and a horseshoe tournament and pie contest — two separate events — both start at 1 p.m.

The Big River Band will play on the stage area of the expo center at 2 p.m. At 7:30 p.m., Extreme Bull Riding by Double S Riding will begin, and a 4-H-sponsored movie night will begin at 9 p.m.

The fair will close on Sunday, with the day’s festivities beginning with an open horse show at 8:30 a.m. and round robin showmanship at 1 p.m. An award ceremony for static exhibits will take place with a bonus auction at 4 p.m.

Daily entertainment at the fair will include such attractions as exotic animal shows, a petting zoo and Junk-a-Palooza.

Many of the events at this year’s fair are free. The Dakota/Thurston County fairgrounds are located at 1547 Stable Drive in South Sioux City.

Gate admission and parking are free, but there is a charge for select entertainment.

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