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Personalities: The South Dakota State Fair

South Dakota State Fair Midway

The South Dakota State Fair is different every year and yet it never really changes. It's a capstone experience for hundreds of 4-H kids earning ribbons by showcasing their skills - from photography to poultry to pickles.

The State Fair is midway food like corn dogs and funnel cakes. It's demonstrations of super-sharp but amazingly affordable cutlery, the latest in farm machinery, and so many other (mostly) useful things. It's carnival rides and games and the mingled smells of popcorn, sheep, diesel fuel, and fried you-name-it.

The first South Dakota State Fair was held in Huron in 1885 and it's been held there ever since. For more than 130 years, it's where people from South Dakota's farms, small towns and cities have gathered to greet, meet, eat, and enjoy some top-quality grandstand entertainment.

Chuck spoke with singer/songwriter Shania Twain just after a performance at the 1993 State Fair. Twain had recently released her first album and third single. She was well-known in 1993 but wasn't yet the star she was destined to be.

Shania Twain
Credit Courtesy:
Shania Twain in 2017

At the 1992 State Fair, Chuck talked with KELO-TV's Dave Dedrick, aka Captain 11. KELO broadcast Captain 11 appearances, weather segments and feature stories from the state fair for many years.

dave dedrick as captain 11
Credit South Dakota State Historical Society
Dave Dedrick/Captain 11 in 1980.

As KELO's lead weather man and as Captain 11, Dedrick was well-known to several generations of viewers within KELO's broadcast range. Thousands of kids attended his live broadcasts over the years, always greeted with a hearty "How's my crew today!?" Dave Dedrick passed away in 2010.

Dave Dedrick, KELO-TV's Captain 11, talks about his TV program and his many appearances at the South Dakota State Fair.

Also at the 1993 State Fair, interviewed KELO-TV news anchor Steve Hemmingsen.

Credit C-Span
Steve Hemminsen

They talked at length about some of the issues of the day, including ag policy and whether or not Bill Janklow might run for another term as governor. 

Credit KELO-TV
Steve Hemmingsen (R) interviews governor Bill Janklow, ca. 1996.

Hemmingsen also talked about getting his start with KELO in 1969.

Steven Hemmingsen retired in 2000 after some 18-thousand newscasts with KELO-TV.

Steve Hemmingsen describes his start in broadcasting.

For Chuck Anderson, the South Dakota State Fair is a chance to see everything and talk with anyone and everyone from a man selling corn dogs to kids enjoying rides on the Midway. 

Chuck tours the Senior Citizens Building at the State Fair and speaks with the lady running the quilt raffle.

Listen to complete "Personalities with Chuck Anderson" programs recorded at the South Dakota State Fair in 1992 and 1993.

Full show at the 1992 State Fair (Dave Dedrick)
Full show at the 1993 State Fair (Shania Twain, Steve Hemmingsen)


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