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Turner County: Proud History


PIERRE, S.D. – Nestled near the southeastern corner of South Dakota, Turner County is home to nearly a dozen small communities, including Centerville, Hurley, Marion and Parker.

Enjoy events in Turner County such as Centerville’s Parade of Lights, held annually in December. This parade features beautifully lighted floats for spectators to enjoy. The Turner County Fair is another great stop, taking place in Parker each year. Here patrons enjoy a demolition derby, carnival, figure-8 races, fireworks, kiddie tractor pull, livestock shows, food booths and 4-H and open class exhibits.

Turner County’s annual Fair isn’t just a fun gathering, as it has historical interest for this small community. Turner County held the first county fair in South Dakota October 13-16, 1880. The fair was first held to showcase the agricultural achievements of the newly settled land. Citizens were called upon to bring their families, livestock and farm products to make the fair a success. An 1886 publication encouraged participation by all, saying, “This should be our pride no matter how much we may differ on other points.”

Enjoy more of Turner County’s history at Heritage Park, where you can find Turner County’s first jail, school, an old church, general store and millinery shop.

The Uniquely South Dakota series is a project of the South Dakota Office of Tourism designed to highlight unique aspects and attractions in each of South Dakota’s 66 counties. This profile was researched and compiled by Jennifer Anderson, public relations intern for the Office of Tourism.


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