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Eastern Idaho State Fair sets historic attendance records

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The following is a news release and photo from Eastern Idaho State Fair.

BLACKFOOT — Not being able to hold the 2020 Eastern Idaho State Fair did nothing but motivate the fair team to make the 2021 event better than ever before. Two years of preparation went into one historic nine-day event of the longest-running community event in southeast Idaho.

Nearly 250,000 people came through the fair gates, making it the most attended Fair ever, with a grand total of 249,892 people. The Fair set Grandstand records on 4 of the first 5 days, starting the week off incredibly strong. Save one day of rain and wind, eight days of fantastic fall weather was a welcome sight for fairgoers and vendors alike.

People came out for all kinds of reasons, but the fun-family entertainment was taken to the next level with unforgettable food, free acts, and a variety of thrilling grandstand events. Thousands of people, from the board of directors to the full-time fair staff to the weekly employees to the volunteers, come together each year to accomplish this monumental feat, and 2021 was no exception.

Every year, the Eastern Idaho State Fair aims to bring in the best grandstand entertainment possible. Numerous ticket-sale records were smashed this year as people flocked to see big names takeover Blackfoot. Opening Labor Day weekend felt like everyone in Eastern Idaho was on the Fairgrounds to enjoy Fair food and see Sheryl Crow perform her top hits.

From there, the fair team had five more nights of Grandstand fun, including the most attended Gem State Pro Classic Rodeo ever. A touching tribute to the 13-fallen soldiers in Afghanistan was part of the rodeo’s opening ceremony, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house as Americans were reminded freedom isn’t free.

On Thursday, Sept. 9, a sold-out crowd came through the Bank of Commerce Grandstand gates to welcome Jeff Dunham and his puppet crew to southeast Idaho. The crowd even got to be some of the first people in the world to hear his newest material involving URL, the technology-addicted puppet.

The last two nights of the Eastern Idaho State Fair weren’t just successful. They were a great time for everyone involved. On Friday, Sept. 10, Third Eye Blind sang their top hits to an energized crowd. The September Slam Demolition Derby closed the Fair out in front of a traditional sellout crowd, raising money for the Blackfoot Elks Club youth programs.

For the ninth year in a row, concessionaires competed in the Fairest of Them All food contests. These contests allow our food vendors to introduce new items to their menu each and every year, making sure the EISF fair food remains the absolute best of the best. This year’s winner of the Fairest of Them All—Entrée award went to The Whole Damn Farm from Smoking B’s. The Sweetest of Them All winner was the Ice Birthday Cake Shake & Bake from Creamy Creations. Best New Fair Food- Sweets went to Whipped Huckleberry Smasher from Lemon Smashers, and Smoking Cowboy Burger from Billman’s Catering took the honors of Best New Fair Food-Entrée. The People’s Choice award was given to Mexican Crazy Corn for their Crazy Corn Nachos.

“It was so good to have all of our Fair Friends return to a full Fair. It was an amazingly good week that was possible because of the dedication of thousands of people. This event is a reflection of the great community we live in, and we are grateful for everyone’s support,” says Fair General Manager Brandon Bird. “I hope everyone from the exhibitors to concessionaires, sponsors to employees and especially those who attended this year’s event were able to EAT IT UP while making memories at the Fair. We are so grateful to be able to continue this 119-year tradition in this community.”

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