Faribault Co. Fair getting under way

BLUE EARTH – The 153rd Faribault County Fair kicks off today and runs through Saturday, with attractions old and new.

Gates open at 8 a.m. and buildings open at noon each day, said Robin Stenzel, secretary of the fair board. Parking is $5 a day or $15 for the week.

“We have a brand new midway and they are setting up as we speak,” Stenzel said Monday afternoon.

The fun and games with Royal West Amusements will begin at 5 p.m. today.

For those who like motors and wheels, a new event is the United Pullers of Minnesota, featuring tractors and pickups at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the grandstand.

Music fans can catch Jillian Jensen at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the tent. She appeared on “X Factor” last year.

The Devon Worley Band will play three shows, at 6, 7:30 and 9 p.m. Thursday in the tent. Lead singer Devon Worley is still a teenager, but winning followers.

“They’re trying out for ‘The Voice,'” Stenzel said.

Hairball, promoted as “a bombastic celebration of arena rock,” will appear 7:30 p.m. Friday in the grandstand.

Performing all week around the grounds will be Kid Davie, a fire eater, magician and illusionist.

David Ward becomes Paul Bunyan for three shows on Friday.

Veterans Day is Saturday, starting with a free breakfast from 8:30 to 10 a.m. The Divas Through the Decades will perform at 9:30 a.m., 2 and 4 p.m.

“They do a patriotic thing, a Lennon Sisters-type thing,” Stenzel said.

One of the returning favorites is the antique tractor pull at 11 a.m. Saturday in the grandstand.

“People really like that,” Stenzel said.

Meanwhile, the 28th Annual Norwegian Fjord Horse Competition starts today.

As for food, a lot of old favorites are returning.

The Country Boys will still have barbecue and brisket, and they’ve added ribs on Thursday and Friday nights.

The Trinity Church Food Stand is a mainstay of the fair.

“They are known for their hot beef plates and pie,” Stenzel said.

Other returnees are kettlecorn, gyros, onion rings and the big lemon – “That’s the best lemonade,” Stenzel said.

She was sure to point out that not only does the 4-H stand have good food, it also has air-conditioning.

There will be a wide variety of other stuff to see.

All kinds of animals will be on the grounds, with a bunch at the petting zoo and Joah’s Ark. There also will be a llama show on Saturday.

“The Fiber Arts Exhibit is back for the second year in Paschke Hall,” Stenzel said. “It’s always one of the best quilt displays; talented people.”

New this year will be a toy railroad display.

And, of course, there will be a beer garden, Stenzel said.

What the fair won’t have is a fireworks display.

The fair will wrap up with the demolition derby at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the grandstand.

For more information, visit www.faribaultcountyfair.com or pick up a commemorative fair book.