MINOT, N.D. (KXNET) — One of the most anticipated events in North Dakota is fast approaching, the North Dakota State Fair officially kicks off Friday.

Not only does the fair bring visitors from all over the state, but it’s also one of the most lucrative events for Minot.

Minot will soon be filled with thousands of people for nine days of the North Dakota State Fair.

The parade, concerts, food, shopping, rides and so much more are the main attractions.

But behind the scenes, how does this benefit the Magic City?

“It isn’t only what happens on the fairgrounds. Many people stay in hotels, they buy groceries, they go shopping, and they buy gas. It’s a huge impact to the city of Minot, but it’s also a huge impact to the County of Ward and the state of North Dakota,” said Renae Korslien, the General Manager for the North Dakota State Fair.

The event plays an important role in providing local jobs, increasing business revenue and contributing to thousands of dollars in tax revenue.

Last year, more than 300,000 people attended the State Fair and this year they’re expecting even more.

“It’s a nod to also the agricultural side with the 4-H and FFA programs, which is great. Because we really are supportive of our friends in the Ag Sector. And so, we really get excited about the North Dakota State Fair and look forward to all the visitors that come to our community over the upcoming week,” said Brekka Kramer, President and CEO of Minot Area Chamber EDC.

The parade, marking its 40th year, has over 200 floats and the 4-H and FFA competition has nearly 50,000 entries this year.

There are nearly 2,600 hotel rooms booked during the fair and over 200 camping sites reserved on the fairgrounds.

There will be more vendors this year than there have been in many years.

Korslien added, “650 vendors we have here on the grounds during the nine days of fair, and they come from all over. What a great thing. And there again, those people stay here in Minot for just about two weeks.”

State Fair organizers and vendors are already preparing for the busy days ahead. They say, its the best time of the year, and that they hope everyone will enjoy the 56th year of the North Dakota State Fair.

Be sure to check back with us for all of the State Fair festivities.