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St. Croix County Fair underway through weekend

Volunteers were abundant at the poultry barn during fair grounds “clean up day” Wednesday, July 9. Here many were on-hand to set up the poultry and cavies cages in preparation for this week’s county fair. (Photo by Cindy Croes Olson)

With new entertainment, food and activities, the 2014 St. Croix County Fair promises to live up to its “barrel of fun” theme through the weekend.

Being held at the St. Croix County Fairgrounds, the five-day event was set to kick off at 10:45 a.m. on Wednesday with the flag raising and opening ceremony. Glenwood City Mayor John Larson was scheduled to offer a welcome message, and the St. Croix County show choir was set to close the ceremony by singing the National Anthem.

Having been a part of St. Croix County for more than a century, the fair has been called a summer tradition that is “relevant and thriving” by Fair Board President Gail Maier, who expects about 25,000 people to attend the fair this year.

“My favorite thing about the fair is having people come to experience all the great things taking place,” Maier said. “Whether they come to see the youth or open class judging and exhibits, enjoy the entertainment, take in the special events or just to sample the awesome fair food, it is always heartwarming to see so many people attend the fair.”

Although fairgoers can expect to see many fan favorites return, including the carnival, donkey races and mud volleyball, the Croix Court stage will be teeming with new entertainment. A national award-winning acapella group called Six Appeal will close out Thursday’s festivities at 8:30 p.m., and Friday’s headliner, the Whitesidewalls, will take the stage at 7 p.m. The doo-wop, rock ‘n’ roll band has been performing throughout the Midwest for more than 40 years, specializing in 50s- and 60s-style music, and is a never-before-seen act at the fair.

The Memories, a musical variety act comprised of Warren Petryk and Tim Stevens of Boyceville, will perform for the 27th time at 8:15 p.m. on Saturday, bookended by entertainment from the new hypnotist, Lizzy the Dream Girl.

Besides all-day concessions and nighttime entertainment, fairgoers can participate in a variety of activities during the afternoon. With a kiddie tractor pull, scavenger hunt and cash raffle, the fair has something for everyone.

“It cultivates curiosity, learning, creativity and leadership skills in our youth who participate,” Maier said. “For the adults of St. Croix County, the fair provides a place to foster cultural and fine arts, and it serves as a place to display and share our heritage and connect with others.”

Although it’s all fun and games at the fair, a lot of hard work goes into preparing the event. 4-H leaders and volunteers must process entry forms, set up exhibit areas and secure judges, and the Fair Board has to stay on top of grounds maintenance, advertising and vendors, not to mention all the clean-up efforts expended after the fair.

Maier said one of the Fair Board’s immediate goals is to finish paying off the second dairy barn that was installed last year. It also hopes to complete the new horse facilities in the coming years, as site prep has officially begun.

Despite the long to-do lists, a successful fair makes the work well worth it. According to Maier, the Fair Association will continue to develop the fairgrounds and search for entertainment and events that will attract all ages.

“This great community event impacts people all over St. Croix County,” Maier said. “It is a place for people to share their talents, meet and socialize, and to entertain and be entertained.”

Jenny Hudalla
A senior at Bethel University, Jenny Hudalla is pursuing degrees in journalism, Spanish and reconciliation studies. Having graduated from New Richmond High School in 2011, she served as editor-in-chief of the Tiger Rag before taking a job as editor-in-chief of Bethel's student newspaper, The Clarion. After completing her internship with the New Richmond News, Hudalla plans to move on to a career in social justice.
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