St. Croix County Fair ready to kick up heelsAfter record crowds at last year’s St. Croix County Fair, organizers aren’t relying on past successes to ensure a great 2008 gathering.
After record crowds at last year’s St. Croix County Fair, organizers aren’t relying on past successes to ensure a great 2008 gathering.
While many favorite events, performers and exhibits will return to the St. Croix County Fairplex July 17-20, a few new twists will also be included to keep the Fair fresh.
“The plans for this year’s Fair are going quite well,” said Richard “Dick” Sullwold, St. Croix County Fair Board president. “We’ll be ready, of course.”
Fair organizers have added shuttle buses to the offerings this year. Sullwold said some fairgoers have commented that it can be a long walk across the Fairplex grounds.
“So we’ll have a shuttle bus running from one end of the Fair to the other end,” he said.
Organizers are also working on the new horse arenas on the fairgrounds, including improving the speaker system.
“We’re putting some finishing touches on the horse arenas,” Sullwold said.
One of the newest additions is the ATV Mud Races at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 19. There are various classes for racers, including age and machine break-downs. They replace the lawn mower races, which have been offered the past two years.
“I assume the ATV races will be quite popular,” Sullwold said, noting that many people in the region own ATVs and will enjoy entering a race.
The annual 4x4 Mud Races will follow the ATV races at 7 p.m. Saturday night.
The traditional Horse Pull will help kick off the Fair’s first day. The event is at 6:30 p.m., featuring light and heavy classes.
The annual Tractor Pull, always a fan favorite, will return on Friday night starting at 6:30 p.m. A Draft Horse Hitch Show is slated for 4 p.m. on Friday as well.
The Antique Tractor Pull and Garden Tractor Pull will round out the weekend’s festivities. The action starts at 11 a.m. on Sunday, July 20.
“The New Richmond FFA is not going to run it this year, but we’re still having one,” Sullwold said. “It will be the same as previous years, just someone different running it.”
The Memories, along with the comedy act “Ole and Elmer,” (a.k.a. Tim Stevens and Warren Petryk) return for their 21st year at the St. Croix County Fair.
The Memories appear on the main stage on Saturday at 8:30 p.m.
Ole and Elmer are scheduled to perform at 11:15 a.m. Sunday.
The Twerps will make a Fair appearance on Friday night at 9 p.m.
The annual Battle of the Bands is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday night and local band favorite Stampede will entertain the crowd at 9 p.m. Saturday.
The annual Talent Show returns for another year. The event begins at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Prizes are awarded for various age categories
Other entertainment scheduled includes Jason Hunke (comedy and juggling) and C.A.M.L. (treble barbershop quartet). See pages 14 and 15 in the Fair Guide for specific times and additional information.
Of course, the stars of every Fair are the animals and the people who show them. Check out the Fair’s schedule of event times to make sure you get a front row seat as your favorite animals and their owners enter the show barn.
Visit www.stcroixcofair.com for more information about the Fair and the Fairplex grounds.
The St. Croix County Fairplex improvement plan continues to move forward.
The last major renovation to the fairgrounds occurred in the 1970s and many of the current buildings fail to meet current standards and are too crowded.
That’s why supporters of the County Fair and its fairgrounds in Glenwood City have been working hard to raise the $3.5 million necessary to complete all the work that needs to be done.
The fund-raising effort, dubbed “Renovations for Generations,” began last summer with a new Fair raffle, which culminated in a drawing on the final day of the 2007 Fair. About $25,000 was raised during that effort.
“In our opinion, we had a very successful launch which we hope to exceed this year,” said Chris Libbey, president of the St. Croix County Fairplex Board of Directors. This year’s raffle promises to be even bigger, according to organizers. Last year’s sponsors have continued their support this year, and the major prizes that have resulted remain impressive.
Bernard’s Northtown of New Richmond has donated a two-year lease on a Dodge Caliber. Second prize is a John Deere lawn and garden tractor from Polfus Equipment. Third prize is an Alumacraft Jon Boat and trailer package from Warner’s Dock, Inc.
But the raffle is just a small part of the overall fund-raising plan.
Fairplex officials are also soliciting financial commitments from area businesses, individuals, corporations and foundations to help meet the fund-raising goals.
Significant accomplishments include development of the fund-raising brochure to help sell the renovation ideas to prospective donors, establishment of a relationship with the New Richmond Area Community Foundation to be the fiscal agent for the fund-raising effort and the reception of several significant commitments from individuals and businesses.
The group’s goal is to raise $1 million in 2008, with the help of foundation grants, corporate gifts, individual commitments and 4-H and FFA club efforts.
Among the improvements in the Fairplex Master Plan, developed with the help of consultant Fair Park Group, are:
• The Event Center, an air conditioned, four-season, multi-purpose building with exhibit space, kitchen and meeting room(s).
• Two horse barns that can house 60 horses each.
• Two new dairy barns, to replace existing facilities that are small and aging.
Plans also call for renovation of an existing dairy barn that will eventually house sheep and swine exhibits along with removal of the old quonset dairy barn.
Ultimately, the goal is to create a Fairplex that is both safe and appealing for exhibitors and fairgoers alike, Libbey said.
The Fairplex group is working with professional fund-raising company GR Seppala and Associates.
“We feel we accomplished a lot in our first year,” Libbey said. “We’ve got an awful lot of work done, but we’ve got a lot of work yet to do.”