Grandstand Tickets

AUG 30 - SEP 3, 2018


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North Western Energy
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NorthWestern Energy Freedom Stage


Presented By:
NorthWestern Energy

Salute to Veterans

Join us as we salute our Veterans at the SD State Fair.


Thursday, Aug 30
10:30 am

Dakota Star presented by Dakotaland Federal Credit Union

Dakota Star presented by Dakotaland Federal Credit Union is the SD State Fair's version of American Idol! Contestants compete in preliminary competition Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Those who make it out of the preliminary competition will move onto the finals!

Meet the 2017 Dakota Star Dayna Jones

“I just wanna keep writing songs and playing my music”, says the newest Dakota Star Talent Search winner following her success at this year’s South Dakota State Fair in Huron.   Even though talent contests are not a normal part of her repertoire, Dayna Jones is no rookie to the music world.  She has been performing most of her life with experience in community theater and has spent the past 8 years traveling with a band.  Jones admits it was the opportunity to play in front of the State Fair crowds, the $1,000 prize money and the recording session with Cathouse Studio that enticed her to enter the Dakota Star competition. 

The Dakota Star Search is sponsored by Dakotaland Federal Credit Union and is a high visibility event for local artists and musicians to showcase their talent.  It is hosted on the Freedom Stage during the South Dakota State Fair and entries of all ages were submitted from across the state.  Ms. Jones was the winner of the adult category, while second place went to Heather Andrie of Brookings.  In the junior category (age 12-17) top honors went to Alexis Urena of Huron, second place to Madalina Cretu of Wolsey and third place to Saraya Bronson of Wilmot.  Katelyn Ahlers of Mitchell was the winner of the child category (up to 11 years of age), Ciara Blake of Mitchell took second place and third place went to Taylor Mischke of Hayti. 

When asked what she plans to do with her $1,000 purse, Dayna confessed she intends to “reinvest” it back into her band, Jones & Company.  The group is a 5 member band she has been committed to for the past 4 years.  Our newest Dakota Star not only provides lead vocals for Jones & Company, but also plays guitar and knows her way around a piano.  Dayna declares she and her band play a variety of music, from country to rock to pop, but she personally enjoys performing her own songs.  She hopes to utilize the studio session with Cathouse of Sioux Falls, which she won as part of the Dakota Star title, to record some of her original works.  Even though Dayna is committed to her goal of writing music and continuing to perform, she does live a dual life.  Ms. Jones is a 14 year veteran teacher with the Bridgewater-Emery School District and is the star of her very own kindergarten classroom.  “Most people who meet the musician side of me, are shocked to find out I am a kindergarten teacher”, explained Jones.  

Classroom or stage, Dayna is making the most of the opportunities that lay ahead.  In fact, the next opportunity for you to see Jones & Company perform is at The District in Sioux Falls on Saturday, October 14th.  Dayna and her crew will open for one of country music’s hottest new artists, Lauren Alaina, as they headline the “Angels of Light Benefit” hosted by the Guiding Hand Foundation. For more information and tickets go to  To follow Dayna and Jones & Company, be sure to check them out on Facebook or visit   

-Contributed story from Dakotaland Federal Credit Union


2017 Results

Adult Category

1st place & Dakota Star title winner: Dayna Jones, Emery, SD

2nd place: Heather Andrie, Brookings, SD


Junior Category – Ages 12-17

1st place: Alexis Urena – Huron

2nd place: Madalina Cretu (foreign exchange student that lives with Ashley Hiles in Wolsey)

3rd place: Saraya Bronson, Wilmot, SD


Child Category – up to 11 years of age

1st place: Katelyn Ahlers, Mitchell, SD

2nd place: Ciara Blake, Mitchell, SD

3rd place: Taylor Mischke, Hayti, SD

Sponsored By:

Friday, Aug 31

Saturday, Sep 1

Sunday, Sep 2

Monday, Sep 3
5:00 pm

Insuring a Brighter Tomorrow Scholarship Awards and Rural Dakota Pride Awards

Hosted by SD Farmers Union

Saturday, Sep 1

Team up for Safety Quiz Bowl

Hosted by SD Farmers Union

Saturday, Sep 1

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