Herald Journal, Aug. 8, 2005
Every-fifth-year parade at Carver County Fair this year
By Jenni Sebora
This year will be a special one for the Carver County Fair, as the county celebrates its sesquicentennial with both traditional and new events planned over the fair’s five-day run.
Close to 90,000 people will flock to the Carver County Fair this year, taking place in Waconia Aug. 10-14.
Many fair-goers come to the fair to experience the taste of fair food, which is basically almost anything on a stick, Carver County Fair Board President Curtis Wolter said.
“Carver County Fair is noted for its food,” Wolter added.
Pork burgers, made by the Carver County pork producers, are particularly popular among fair-goers.
“The pork burgers are the biggest seller at our fair,” Wolter said.
The food is not the only attraction at the fair, however. A multitude of contests, shows, and events are conducted, as well.
A parade, which takes place every five years, will run its route through the City of Waconia this year, on the last day of the fair, Sunday, Aug. 14, at 1 p.m.
The 4-H and animal shows continue to draw crowds. One can see several kinds of animals, from small ones, such as chicks and rabbits, to large animals, such as horses and cows.
“It used to be mainly cattle shown at the fair, but a variety of animals can be seen at the fair now. Chicken and sheep showings have increased over the past five years, and new this year is a llama show,” Wolter said.
Horse shows, including a 4-H horse show, a performance and youth show, and a ranch rodeo will occur at different days and times throughout the fair days.
The exotic petting zoo is also back again, providing great family entertainment.
Amusement park rides are a prominent part of the celebration, and Gold Star Amusements will provide them at this year’s fair. On various days, at various times, there will be ride specials. On Super Saver Sunday from 5 to 9 p.m., all ages pay only $15 for all rides.
Free entertainment at the patio or beer garden will be available again, with a variety of acts suited for both young and old. Entertainment this year will be provided by the Johnny Holm Band, Gerald and Carol Larson, Lyndon Peterson, Top Notchmen, The Dweebs, The Brown family, Janie in Wonderland, Tricia and the Toonies, Leon Olsen Band, Smokescreen, Riverside Dutchmen, and 73 Paces. The 4-H will also share some performances and fun acts.
The annual amateur talent contest will be conducted Saturday, Aug. 13 with preteen, teen, and open divisions.
Carver County Fair is known for its exciting grandstand shows, and this year is no exception, as motocross takes the “stand” Wednesday night, Wolter noted.
Truck, tractor, and semi pulls and demolition derbies round out the other grandstand shows.
“Because of the grandstand shows’ popularity, we’ve added 10 rows to the grandstand to add more seating room. We just had the inspection and the grandstand should be ready to go,” Wolter said.
The fair has numerous attractions, and tries to offer something for everyone.
“The purpose of the fair is for family fun and entertainment. We try and keep prices affordable with many free things, such as the entertainment, so it is affordable for families,” Wolter said.
Special rates take place Thursday, Aug. 11 for senior citizens’ day and kids’ day is Saturday, Aug. 13.
Other special events and contests include a “color the fair” coloring contest, old fashioned paper art, 500 card tournament, sheepshead tournament, seed art competition, kids tractor pull, the diaper derby (a crawling and toddler race), rooster crowing contest, watermelon seed spitting contest, a 4-H meat auction, and cookie jar contest, among other events.
Machinery hill adds more for people to view, and there will be antique tractors and farm machinery, along with threshing demonstrations Saturday, Aug. 13.
The home of the fair
Although Waconia has been the site of the Carver County Fair since its beginning, about 94 years ago, the fair was not always located where it is today, and was not always the only fair in Carver County.
When a fair located in Carver became defunct in the 1930s, the fair in Waconia made its start where the present Bayview School is today.
In the late 1930s, the fair association purchased about 16 acres at the present site. In 1951, the Carver County Agricultural Society was formed, and in the late 1960s, the board of directors purchased about nine acres, located south of the existing site, from Dr. John Savaryn, to make the total site more than 24 acres.
The City of Waconia later acquired a 100-square-foot parcel for the water tower.
Four buildings, the demonstration building, agricultural building, and two concession stands Ozzies, and the one currently used by the Waconia Lions were moved from the original site in Waconia to the present site of the fair, and remain there still today.
See also: Carver County Fair