Fair Time: County fair filled with fun for the family

The greatest show in Mille Lacs County is about to make its annual appearance.

The 123rd annual Mille Lacs County Fair will be held Aug. 7-10 at the Mille Lacs County Fairgrounds in Princeton.

Admission is $5 per day. A four-day wristband will be for sale for $10.

The 2014 fair will borrow from the past and chart a new future with old favorites, like 4-H exhibits, the talent show and animal exhibitions, and new additions, such as the Mega Jump Action Sports Experience and disc jockey dance, sound and light show that will be a hit with teens.

Stipes Shows will bring their carnival rides to the fair for another year with armband specials Friday and Sunday from 12:30-4:30 p.m. There will be early bird specials on rides from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

Dazzling Dave will also return to the fair with his free yo-yo performances. Look for Dazzling Dave as he wanders the fairgrounds. Bingo and seed art will also be returning favorites.

Free musical entertainment is one of the highlights of the fair each year, and in 2014 that will be no exception. The Undertakers start things off Thursday with their high-energy sound and light show with hit dance music. The fun starts at 7 p.m. on the main stage.

On Friday, Mr. Nashville will bring his DJ skills to the fair, where he will be spinning classic country and other favorites from 9:30-11:30 a.m. At 4 p.m. Friday, the Abiders take to the main stage. The Abiders are a new act to the fair. A four-piece band, The Abiders will bring rock, blues, jazz and country to the fair. Then on Friday night, it’s the return of Whisky Tango, the 1970s and 1980s rock band with Milaca-natives Ben Poorker and Derek Worth helping electrify the crowd. Whisky Tango takes the stage at 7 p.m.

Saturday will mark the first Mille Lacs County appearance of the Nicole Kottke Band. Kottke, who hails from a small dairy farm in southeastern Wisconsin, fronts a contemporary country band. But don’t be surprised to hear some pop and a little rock ‘n’ roll, too. Nicole Kottke brings her small-town farm girl charm to the main stage at 7:30 p.m. Also on Saturday will be the return of the CLIMB Theatre with performances at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m.

Sunday morning will start off right with the Skogen Family Worship Music from 10-11 a.m. The band hails from Isle. At 2 p.m., area favorite, Monroe Crossing, will bring classic bluegrass, gospel and even some original music to the fairgrounds. The band has been a favorite at Milaca’s RecFest.

The grandstand is always buzzing with activity, and that will be no different in 2014. However, the schedule of events has been shuffled from what fairgoers may have become accustomed.

Thursday night is the debut of the free stock lawn and garden tractor pull and races. Action begins at 6 p.m. and will pit owners of riding lawn mowers and garden tractors against each other for the ultimate in bragging rights. There will be five weight classes. The $10 entry fee will go toward a 100 percent cash payout for each class winner.

The annual demolition derby is set for 8 p.m. on Friday. The tractor pull begins at 6 p.m. on Saturday and the truck pull will help close out the fair on Sunday at 3 p.m. Adult admission for these grandstand events are $10 at the gate. Admission for seniors and children ages 7-14 is $8.

The Mega Jump Action Sports Experience will bring its daredevil BMX-style riders to the fair for three shows on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and two shows on Sunday. They put on what is described as a “jaw-dropping” stunt show with the largest jump in the industry.

Other highlights include the kids pedal tractor pull on Thursday at 2 p.m., kids games at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday, the Century Farm and Farm Family recognition at 4:45 p.m. Saturday. The Princeton FFA chapter will also be recognized for 70 years of service.

The popular amateur talent contest will be at 5 p.m. Saturday, as participants seek a trip to the Minnesota State Fair to compete on the big stage. On Sunday, the Showmanship Fun Show kicks off at 10 a.m., followed by the open class beef and dairy show at 11 a.m. A draft horse exposition is scheduled for noon on Sunday and the 4-H dog agility demo is at 2:30 p.m.

Of course, it wouldn’t be the fair without the 4-H program.

The 4-H swine and goat shows will be Thursday morning and the poultry and sheep shows Thursday afternoon. The 4-H ag Olympics are at 6:30 p.m.

The horse show and beef and dairy steer show are Friday morning. The popular 4-H dress your animal event is set for 4 p.m. Friday. The 4-H fashion review is at 4:30 p.m. Friday.

The horse show continues Saturday, followed by the 4-H dairy show and the llama show. The Share the Fun show is at 12:30 p.m. on the fairgrounds stage.