County fair time means family fun time

Union-Times file photo
Kyra Ohman, Jenny DeVries and Charlie DeVries ride the merry-go-round in the midway during the 2016 Mille Lacs County Fair.

Now that the pages of the calendar have been turned to August, the Mille Lacs County Fair is right around the corner.
The annual five-day extravaganza of family fun and activity kicks off its 126th annual edition with a preview on Wednesday, Aug. 9, and runs through the afternoon of Sunday, Aug. 13.
Admission to the fair preview on Aug. 9 is $3. Admission to the fair Thursday, Aug. 10, through Sunday, Aug. 13, is $5 per day. A four-day wristband will be for sale for $10. Children ages 6 and under are admitted free. Veterans and active members of the military are also admitted free. The Princeton American Legion, Princeton VFW and fair board are picking up the entrance fee. Parking on the fair grounds is free.
The 2017 fair will feature old favorites, such as 4-H exhibits, the talent show and animal exhibitions. There will be a number of new attractions as well, including a community stage, XtremeBall, a rock climbing wall, a reptile show, chain saw wood carving, an art garden, a photo booth, and a magic factory.
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. On Saturday, rides will be discounted in price by one ticket.
The grandstand is always buzzing with activity, and that will be no different in 2017. The tractor pull will be at 6 p.m. Thursday. Speedway races will highlight grandstand activity on Friday beginning at 7 p.m. On Saturday night, the demolition derby comes to Princeton at 8 p.m., and on Sunday, the annual truck pull takes center stage at 1 p.m. Adult admission for these grandstand events is $10 at the gate. Admission for seniors is $8 and children ages 7-17 is $7. Kids 6 and under are admitted free.
The free stock lawn and garden tractor pull and races will be held on the Wednesday preview night at 6 p.m. Admission is free; however, donations toward a new fairgrounds livestock building will be accepted.
Free musical entertainment is one of the highlights of the fair each year. Evening entertainment this year includes fair favorite Chopper, billed as the world’s nuttiest DJ, taking the main stage from 7-11 p.m. Thursday. DJ Sprunk brings her party music to the main stage from 7-11 p.m. on Friday. On Saturday night, the country music duo The Farmer’s Daughters perform from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. The Back Road Kickers will open for The Daughters and will also back the group during their show.
Entertainers will also take the stage during the day during the fair’s four-day run. From 3-6 p.m. Wednesday, Jeff James brings his musical looping show to the main stage.
It’s the Kids Power Pedal Tractor Pull on stage Thursday at 2 p.m.
Activity heats up Friday when the Elk River German Band performs on the main stage from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Magician Brian Richards brings his ACME Magic Factory to the stage at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. on Saturday. The annual Mille Lacs County Fair talent show is scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday on the main stage.
Sunday, the Milaca-based foursome She’s My Sister takes the stage from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The two sets of sisters that make up the band were the 2016 fair talent show winners and performed last year at the Minnesota State Fair. Following She’s My Sister, the sound of New Orleans takes the stage with the Dirty Shorts Brass Band. The band plays from 1-3 p.m.
Other highlights include the kids games at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday, and the Farm Family recognition at 4:45 p.m. Saturday.
Of course, it wouldn’t be the fair without the 4-H program.
The 4-H llama show is scheduled for noon on Wednesday. The mini horse show is at 3 p.m. Wednesday and the rabbit show is at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
The 4-H goat, swine and poultry shows will be Thursday morning and the sheep show 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. A new attraction, the 4-H Rube Goldberg demonstration, is at 2:30 p.m. Friday. The popular 4-H dress your animal event is set for 4 p.m. Friday. The 4-H fashion review is at 5 p.m. Friday and the 4-H Market Animal Auction is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday.
The horse show continues Saturday, followed by the 4-H dairy show.