The 2019 Mower County Fair kicks off with opening ceremonies and the introduction of Purple Ribbon Plaza

Published 9:12 am Wednesday, August 7, 2019

The 2019 Mower County Fair is now underway.

People in the hundreds began flocking to the Mower County Fairgrounds Tuesday night as the festivities got underway with the annual ribbon cutting during the opening ceremonies.

This year Bruce and Diane Stundahl were named Fair Couple of the Year while just prior the Purple Ribbon Plaza was officially opened to the public for the first time. The Plaza was built to replace the old Beer Gardens that was torn down earlier this spring.

A long line for ride tickets stretches out from the midway during the opening night of the Mower County Fair Tuesday night. Eric Johnson/

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“Every year people ask us what’s new,” said Mower County Fair President Kevin Finley. “This year, as you can see, our new Purple Ribbon Plaza.”

The plaza has a covered food court that’s available to families throughout the fair as well as tables with plenty of seating inside.

It’s a much needed upgrade from a building that was starting to feel unsafe according to Finley. Fair officials also hope the Purple Ribbon Plaza can be used outside of the fair.

“This facility we hope can be used through the year,” Finley said.

“We’re pretty fortunate  to have a county of willing and helpful people,” he added, acknowledging all the behind-the-scenes work that made building the Purple Ribbon Plaza possible.

Afterwards, the celebration moved to Fair Square where the Stundahls were announced as Fair Couple of the Year.

Bruce and Diane Stundahl were named as this year’s Fair Couple of the Year during opening ceremonies Monday night at the Mower County Fair. Eric Johnson/

Both Diane and Bruce have been deeply involved with fairs both of their lives, with the former Freeborn County Dairy Princess Diane not missing a county or state fair in the past 48 years.

Bruce, up until last year, served on the Mower County Fair Board. And even now, after stepping down, he is still heavily involved.

“It’s in recognition of all of the years dedicated service on the board,” Finley said of Bruce, following with crediting Diane with all of her work. “And his wife, Diane, has been very involved off the board.”

This week’s fair rolls through Sunday with plenty to see and do, including the addition of an enduro race tonight at the Grand Stands as well as the new addition of the Monster X Tour Friday night.