Editorial: SEMO District Fair returns to Arena Park

The SEMO District Fair kicked off over the weekend in Arena Park and will continue through Saturday.

Following the last year’s cancellation because of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers expect plenty of enthusiasm for this year’s installment of the annual eight-day festivities.

Along with food, rides, entertainment and vendors, the fair is also an economic and philanthropic engine. Reporter Jeff Long wrote about three vendors in B Magazine that raise important funds each year for worthy causes in the area, some of which date back many years.

Overall, the fair leads to thousands of dollars in revenue. Last year when it was canceled, longtime organizer Pete Poe told the Southeast Missourian the fair typically produces about $750,000 in revenue. “A portion of that leaves town when the carnival leaves, a portion of it leaves when the entertainers leave, but a good portion of it stays here and turns over within the community,” Poe said.

The grandstand entertainment still to come this week includes: Heartland Idol finals (7 p.m. today), Zach Williams (7 p.m. Tuesday), Frank Foster (8 p.m. Wednesday), Whiskey Myers (8 p.m. Thursday) and Hot Rod Truck & Tractor Pull (7 p.m. Friday and 6 p.m. Saturday).

Fair week is always a lot of fun, and we’re excited about the return of this Southeast Missouri tradition.