South Dakota State Fair Foundation

Mission of the South Dakota State Fair Foundation

The mission of the South Dakota State Fair Foundation is to raise funds for the enhancement, preservation, and renovation of the South Dakota State Fairgrounds.

Through Fire, A Vision was Born
Discover the DEX: Dakota Events CompleX

Watch the 'Discover the DEX' video!

'Discover the DEX' Overview

Pledge Form Donate Online Now
Pledge forms can be mailed to: South Dakota State Fair Foundation, Attn: DEX, 1060 3rd St. SW, Huron, SD 57350.

For 135 years, the South Dakota State Fair has been a place to celebrate youth and agriculture. Since the late 1970s, the Open Class Beef Complex has been a part of that celebration. It’s held many memories and has been an important part of the culture of the South Dakota State Fairgrounds.

On October 31, 2020, early Halloween morning, that all changed with a fire that destroyed the 96,000 square foot building.

Out of adversity comes opportunity. It is our generation’s time to bring this vision to life. Discover the DEX. Help us build the DEX: Dakota Events CompleX - the new multipurpose livestock and equestrian complex at the South Dakota State Fairgrounds.

Design the DEX
The DEX will feature:
•Approximately 150,000 square feet, one-of-a-kind, livestock and equestrian facility that will set a new standard for hosting local and national events.
•5,000 seats for spectators
•The capacity to host two full size equestrian arenas, larger livestock shows, concerts, auto thrill shows, and events throughout the year make this complex unmatched.
•House two, full-sized equestrian arenas, or 1,700 plus cattle stalls 
•Heated for year-round usage and include a ventilation system to ensure proper air movement.
•To create a positive experience for livestock shows and equestrian events, adequate electrical drops and a variety of access points for water, including water drops throughout the building, will be available.
•The DEX will have a pre-function and concession area with restrooms.
•The plans also include an enclosable, heated wash rack connected to the DEX.

The footprint will encompass the area abandoned by the Beef Complex, that is scheduled to be demolished by February of 2021, and replace the 37,000 square foot Sheep Barn, that has long outlived its useful life.

DEX Update 2.17.22

For the annual South Dakota State Fair, the capacity is expected to be 1,700 head of show cattle. Open class and 4-H beef will call this new livestock facility home. A commitment will be made to work with sheep and goat exhibitors to improve and modify the existing 4-H Livestock Complex to make sure it is done right and meet their expectations as they move to this new home. This will allow for species specific barns across the grounds, a trend favored by exhibitors, and address livestock transportation safety issues on the fairgrounds.

*Pictures are renderings and subject to change.

Vision Timeline
Demolition of the Open Class Beef Complex began in December, with project design efforts following in Spring 2021. A groundbreaking ceremony will be held during the 2021 fair and the DEX will be up and running in by July 2023.

Donate to the DEX
Support the ‘Discover the DEX’ Capital Campaign.

The ‘Discover the DEX’ campaign includes several donor opportunities for all donation levels including naming rights, donor wall recognition, and a livestock brand and name recognition display.  

'Discover the DEX' Overview

Donations may include gifts of:

  • Cash
  • Grain (contact your local elevator)
  • Livestock (contact the State Fair Foundation)
  • Tribute or memorial gifts
  • Retirement fund assets
  • Charitable trusts
  • Real estate
  • Matching gifts
  • Gifts in-kind (subject to approval by the South Dakota State Fair Foundation according to its gift acceptance policy)

To make a pledge:
Pledge Form Donate Online Now
Pledge forms and donations can be mailed to:
South Dakota State Fair Foundation, Attn: DEX, 1060 3rd St., Huron, SD 

Checks can be made out to the South Dakota State Fair Foundation. 

For additional information about the project or questions about the ‘Discover the DEX’ campaign please contact:
Peggy Besch
South Dakota State Fairgrounds Manager
Email Peggy

Jim White – Huron
‘Discover the DEX’ Fundraising Committee Chair

The fundraising committee is made up of members from across the state:

  • Scott Cordts – Huron
  • Loren Noess – Sioux Falls
  • Preston Steele – Huron
  • Terry Schiltz – Huron
  • Dick Werner – Herreid
  • David McGirr - Huron
  • Brad McGirr – Huron
  • Steve Masat – Redfield
  • Dean & Judy Stevens – Huron
  • Kristi Effling - Highmore
  • Janet Heine – Fordyce, NE
  • Jeff Lakner - Wessington
  • Craig Schaunamann - Aberdeen
  • Brett Blasius – Wall
  • Barry Mack – Huron

Associate Members:

  • Hunter Roberts – Pierre
  • Sherman Gose – Huron
  • Gary Cammack – Union Center
  • Dusty Anderson – Yankton
  • Larry Gabriel – Phillip
  • Laurie Shelton – Huron
  • Larry Tiedeman - Brookings

Support the South Dakota State Fair Foundation

Commemorate a special person, treasured occasion, or your overwhelming love for the fair with a personalized bench or planter! Contact the State Fair office at (605) 353-7340 or via email today for more information.

Contact the Foundation

Phone: 605.353.7340
Address: 1060 3rd St. SW, Huron, SD 57350