St. Croix County Fair gears up for summer’s centennial celebrationThe St. Croix County Fair is celebrating its 100th year in Glenwood City this summer and residents are being asked to gear up to participate.
The St. Croix County Fair is celebrating its 100th year in Glenwood City this summer and residents are being asked to gear up to participate.
From July 22-25, “A Centennial Celebration of Saint Croix County Fairs” will take place at the St. Croix County Fairplex in Glenwood City in eastern St. Croix County.
“We’re still working on all the loose ends,” said Buzz Marzolf, co-chairman of the centennial celebration, “but things are coming together well.”
Co-chairman Wayne Peterson said the history of the local fair is unusual, because its location has been changed four times during its history. At various times the fair has been conducted in Baldwin, New Richmond, Hudson and Glenwood City.
“I don’t know if it was because of politics or if people just got tired of it,” he said. “It kept moving around.”
It finally settled in Glenwood City and has been operating in the same location for a century. That’s reason to celebrate, Peterson said.
Among the events to be featured in this Centennial Celebration will be a newly remodeled 4-H Food Stand; displays and demonstrations of knitting, crocheting, weaving, spinning and felting; and a display focusing on 68 of the Century Farms within the county.
Also on hand Friday afternoon, July 23, at 5:30 p.m. the barbershop quartet Summertime will be sharing their talents.
Throughout the day on July 23, and through the generosity of the Glenwood Historical Society, there will be displays of antique farm equipment including a wood-framed grain threshing machine and various horse-drawn farm implements.
The following hand-operated machines of yesteryear will also be on display, and, where possible, working demonstrations will be offered: cream separator, butter churn and ice cream maker.
On Saturday, July 24, there will be an antique car display featuring vintage (i.e. 1935 and older) automobiles and trucks. (NOTE: This will not be a competition; the vehicles will be on display only.)
The history of homemaking and agriculture will be among the highlights. State Sen. Sheila Harsdorf has agreed to participate in a demonstration showing how cows were milked by hand in days gone by, and demonstrations of how butter was churned and of how ice cream was made will also be featured.
Marzolf said organizers had hoped to complete the proposed new dairy barn on the fairgrounds by July, but it doesn’t appear that will happen.
“The funding of the new barn has been slow, so I don’t think we’ll meet the deadline,” he said.
Memorabilia specific to these past 100 years will be available for purchase during this year’s fair, including a six-panel visor cap containing an embroidered Centennial Celebration image.
Organizers are also open to other celebration ideas, Marzolf said.
Are you a good story teller? Do you have any old photographs or other county fair memorabilia you would be willing to share? Do you have special memories of fairs gone by? Were you once the Fairest of the Fair, a 4-H exhibitor or leader? Persons interested in becoming involved as fair contributors or participants are encouraged to do so.
Contact either Wayne Peterson 715-265-4696 or Buzz Marzolf 715-381-1010 if you have something to share or if you want to get involved.
“We hope to see you in Glenwood City,” Marzolf said. “Bring your family, come early and stay late.”
The site of Westfields Hospital once housed the New Richmond Fairgrounds, which played host to a county fair for several years.
New Richmond’s original fairgrounds had been on the east side of town. The city had circuses there and some events. There was a wooden fence around the race track.
A news note in the June 25, 1879 issue of the Republican Voice states ruefully that, “Hudson has captured the county fair for the next five years. We understand that Baldwin feels badly over the result. She should hold her temper for she had nothing to lose, having never had the fair. New Richmond is the girl that should weep, if there is going to be any weeping over the matter, for we lost the fair and yet are happy.”
And in a later news note in the October 10, 1879 issue: “The old fairground fence is being taken down and shipped to Hudson, and the old shed known as ‘floral hall’ (a rose by any other name) has been remove from the face of the earth, but for a’ (sic) that we shed no tears. And the stalls and pens, and the other landmarks of the place are falling into ignoble obscurity by the ruthless hands of the Hudsonites. We love not the county less, but New Richmond more.”
Some 20 years later, 20 acres were purchased on the west side of New Richmond by a group of farmers and businessmen. They installed a “full and complete fairgrounds” and planted elm trees to adorn the site.
A grandstand, judges stand, exhibit buildings and stalls for livestock and the grounds were installed. The St. Croix County Fair returned to those grounds in New Richmond. Stories in the Republican Voice newspapers in 1906 talked about the St. Croix County Fair at the New Richmond Fairgrounds, the seventh to be held on the west side site. The fair was to run three days, Wednesday-Friday.
A few years later, the fair moved to Glenwood City where it was known as the Tri-County Fair.
By the 1930s, the New Richmond fairgrounds were abandoned due to a lack of funding and competition from the Glenwood City fair. Holy Family Hospital was later constructed on the New Richmond site.