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Fair gears up for run

The St. Croix County Fair promises to be even bigger and better this year.

The annual gathering, slated for July 20-23, has continually evolved over the years.

"We try to improve the offerings at the fair by discontinuing those things that don't work and trying new things," said Dick Sullwold, president of the Fair Board. "It seems to be working because the attendance continues to increase and the revenue generated by the fair continues to increase.

"Our goal is to have plenty of events to attend while at the fair," he continued. "whether it's stage entertainment, checking out exhibits, horse shows, tractor pulls or 4x4 mud races."

Typical attendance at the fair ranges from 18,000 to 20,000 over the four days. With weather projections showing cooler temperatures this weekend, and after a weekend of sweltering heat last weekend, Sullwold hopes the fair will attract record numbers.

"That would be wonderful," Sullwold said of the prospects of moderate temperatures.

To help ensure a bright future for the fair, the board hasn't rested on its past success. The board has added a number of entertainment options this year.

A new event, garden tractor races, is an oval racing event and not just another traditional pull, Sullwold said. The board looks to add such a variety of options for people attending the fair so everyone has a good time.

Area bands, Trigger Happy and Stampede, were pulled in to provide music at a new no-charge beer garden. New Richmond comedian Scott Novotny will also perform two shows.

"Two years ago we began selling beer in the special events area where the tractor pulls and the 4x4 mud races are held," Sullwold said. "It worked out well. But in order to get into that area you had to pay an admission for the event. It was suggested we have some local bands for entertainment without an admission charge."

As the fair approaches, Sullwold and his wife, Gayle, have been spending most of their free time at the grounds in Glenwood City getting ready.

Inmates from the New Richmond Challenge Incarceration Program and six to eight young people were on hand several days this week cleaning, painting and setting up exhibit areas. They have also installed snow fence and arranged picnic tables and benches throughout the grounds.

"We'll have the fairgrounds ready in time," Sullwold said confidently.

Among the highlights for the fair:

• Segundo Gonzalez and his authentic Ecuador band will perform Thursday at 8:15 p.m.

• Monroe Crossing will perform Friday at noon and 5:30 p.m.

• The Memories will perform at 8:15 p.m. Saturday.

• The Ole and Elmer Comedy Show is planned for 11:15 a.m. Sunday.

• The annual Battle of the Bands is set for 6 p.m. Friday.

• The Fairest of the Fair coronation and Living Memorial award presentation is 11 a.m. Sunday.

• Horse pull is 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

• Tractor pull is 6:30 p.m. Friday.

• Annual 4-H and FFA livestock auction is planned for 6:30 p.m. Friday.

• New garden tractor races are slated for noon on Saturday.

• 4x4 mud races start at 7 p.m. Saturday.

• The antique tractor pull and garden tractor pull starts at 11 a.m. Sunday.

See the St. Croix County Fair advertisement in this week's newspaper for more detailed information.