County fairs long on charm, short on people

It’s county fair season in Minnesota, the time of year when some counties try so hard to keep something going that might’ve seen its best day.

Via Twitter, county fair experts tell me, however, that the Steele County Fair in Owatonna ranks as an exception. We’ll see. It opens tomorrow.

Each fair has its strong suit and distinctive charm, and we’ll hold onto it as long as we can.

Like the pig races in Carver County.

The pony costume competition in Cass County.

The tractor pull in Scott County.

And the demolition derby in just about every county, although this view comes from Fillmore County.

All the venues seemed to lack a key ingredient: people to watch it.

  • Joe D

    Always loved a good tractor pull when I was a kid!

  • Dave

    My wife and I took our daughter to the Washington County Fair. For people who aren’t native Minnesotans, and for whom the State Fair is not a transcendent experience that elevates one’s soul to a higher plane of existence, it’s good enough. It has most of what the State Fair offers, just less of each thing, including fat people. The food was good, and there weren’t too many fair-goers, but there were enough to make it fun. Lines were short.

    Sure, it doesn’t have the latest deep-fried gimmick or stupid-thing-on-a-stick, but if you want to do the fair thing, you could do worse. Parking was easy. Most importantly, our kid had a great time. Plenty of farm animals and farm implements to keep her interested. Free balloon animals didn’t hurt.

  • Tim

    My daughters LOVED to go to the draft horse shows at the Scott County Fair. They were among the best in the nation. Those massive 8 horse hitches pulling the “drey wagons”. Just beautiful! And the earth literally shook as those big boys pounded by. Then you could go to the barn after, and get up close and see the gentle giants as they ate, and got a “bath”. Best entertainment value around!