128 years and countingPublished 3:30am Monday, August 6, 2012
Livestock exhibitors, entertainment junkies, history buffs and carnies are at it for the 128th time in Mower County, as Tuesday will mark the opening of another free county fair.
For Neal Anderson, it’s his 12th go-around as a fair board member. However, this year may add a little pressure, as it’s also his first as board president. If 2012 is anything like last year’s fair, Anderson is ready for roughly 80,000 or more visitors who could walk through the gates from Aug. 7 to 12.
“I’m not scared for being overwhelmed,” he said.
Furthermore, the fair board has installed a few new events to bring in even more people: Wine tasting will be held in the beer garden from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday. On Friday there will also be figure-eight trailer races at the grandstands at 7 p.m.
“Wheels, wheels, wheels,” Anderson joked.
his year is all about autocross, demolition derbies, and Motokazie Supercross at the grandstand. Supercross will open the grandstand events at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. The demolition derbies will be held Wednesday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Other events include the NPTA tractor pull in on the Thursday at 7 p.m., Great Frontier Bull Riding at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Even though the grandstand is deemed unsafe, temporary bleachers will be set up for this year’s fair with the possibility to hold more than 1,000 people.
“It’s not the perfect situation,” Anderson said, “But it’s all we can do for now.”
This year at the fair there will be a new green space. The new space will be located next to the grandstands with a gazebo and more benches for a corndog chili-cheese fry craving crowd.
“Its a new look for 2012-2013,” Anderson said.
Teen night is on Tuesday from 8 p.m. to midnight, and kids’ day will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, there will be a firework show at 10 p.m. to celebrate this year’s fair.
The Creative Arts building is also a big part of the fair, set up for photography, fine arts and food and home crafts. The building will open at noon on Tuesday, and 10 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
“There are many uniquenesses in the fair this year,” Anderson added.
The Fair Square is back this year with the classic entertainment. The Spamettes will play at 5 p.m. Tuesday during opening ceremonies. And the fair is also a venue for locals to show off their unique talents, the Amateur Talent Show will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday.
As always, 4-H will be a staple, too. A horse show, livestock barns and numerous projects are just a few things 4-H will showcase.