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Every Monday at 6:42 a.m. and 8:42 a.m., Rob Gilligan provides information on what's happening in the area of regional development in Southeast Missouri. Rob is the President and CEO of the Cape Chamber. Local support for "Let's Talk Business" is provided by Carved + Crafted Catering. (573) 651-2569

Let's Talk Business: It's Fair Week!

SEMO District Fair

This is certainly one of the largest regional events in the area drawing tens of thousands over an eight-day period.

Yes, it's fair week in Cape Girardeau. After last year’s event was cancelled, this marks the 166 Annual SEMO District Fair.

The United States was an agricultural nation in its infancy and fairs were organized to encourage farmers to develop new and better techniques in growing crops and raising livestock.

SEMO District Fair Board has shared economic data related to the event. Annual revenue from the Fair is $1.3 - $1.5 million. Approximately $500,000 leaves the area with the carnival and vendors. But the rest works its way through the local economy. And while many children attend the event, more than 45% of attendees are over the age of 25.

The Fair Board also gives back to the community. They make donations of $25,000 or more each year to 15+ volunteer groups stating that if they didn't have these people and organizations helping, the event could not take place. Annual sales tax collected is approximately $40,000 and people come from at least six states and probably more.

The SEMO District Fair truly has an incredible impact on Cape Girardeau and the surrounding area. When was the last time you visited the Fair? Make some time for one of the great entertainment options or just some good old fair food.

John Mehner is the former President and CEO of the Cape Chamber.
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