Aug. 7, 2006

Carver County Fair Aug. 9-13

By Jenni Sebora

Known for its large livestock exhibits, open class exhibits, education departments, fair food and its exciting grand stand shows, the 95th annual Carver County Fair is set for August 9-13.

This year, “Cowboy up at the Carver County Fair” is the motto, as Triple B Rodeo will be premiering at the grandstand Wednesday evening, the first night of the fair.

There will be horse shows at the west arena every day of the fair as well as other animal shows, including a llama and alpaca show, which continue to draw crowds.

The exotic petting zoo is back again, providing great family entertainment. All the various barns and building host a variety of animals from rabbits, poultry, and sheep to cattle and horses that give fair goers opportunities to view and even pet many different animals.

Truck, tractor and semi pulls as well as demolition derbies round out the other exciting grandstand shows at the fair this year.

The grandstand shows are so popular, in fact, that last year, more rows were added to the grandstand to increase its seating capacity.

A new entertainment center was recently constructed as a permanent structure to replace the entertainment tent, or better known, as the beer tent. The 4-H building and patio also received some upgrading in the form of new roofs, Fair Board President Curtis Wolter noted.

The new entertainment center will also be available for rental during the fair’s off-season, Wolter added.

There have been updates and additions to the fairgrounds since it first became the site of the fair in the late 1930s. Four buildings, the demonstration building, agricultural building, and two concession stands – Ozzies and the one currently used by the Waconia Lions – are original buildings that were moved from the original site in Waconia. The original site is at the Bayview School.

The new entertainment center and patio will be host of a variety of free entertainment. This year fair goers can enjoy entertainment from the Wagonwheelers, Johnny Holm Band, Les and the Independents, Trailblazers, Hairball, Aces Anderson, Terri Traen from KQ92, a karaoke teen dance, the Castaways, BT from Cities97, The Bistodeau Family, Smokescreen, and Smokin’ Guns. 4-H will also share some performances and fun acts, such as its fashion review and arts in performance.

The popular amateur talent contest takes place on Saturday, Aug. 12, at Shady Oak Ridge with preteen, teen and open divisions.

Special and unique contests and events will occur throughout the fair’s longevity, which will include the third annual fruit bread competition, cookie jar contest, the third annual quilt-in-progress contest, creative artist decorated vegetable contest – cowboy style, Hershey baking contests, handmade greeting cards competition, 500 card tournament, sheepshead tourney, Texas Hold’em poker tournament, kids’ pedal pull, diaper derby: a crawling and toddler race, rooster crowing contest, and a 4-H meat auction.

Coinciding with the fair’s cowboy theme, kids can create cowboy crafts and participate in the horsin’ around craft for kids’ competition at the Education Building.

Gold Star Amusements will once again provide fair rides and games. On various days, at various times, there will be ride specials. On Super Saver Sunday, from 5 to 9 p.m., all ages pay one price, $20 for all rides.

Senior citizens and kids have special days at the fair with special events. Thursday, Aug. 10 is senior citizens’ day with half-price admission, and Sat., Aug. 12 is kids’ day. Friday and Saturday are also prize give away days, compliments of the Carver County Fair.

Fair food is always a favorite of many fair goers, and according to Wolter, Carver County Fair is noted for its food, especially the Carver County pork producers’ pork burgers, which are the biggest seller at the fair. All the favorite fair foods are back, including the pork burgers, plus some new tastes.

One can taste Greek, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Mediterranean, Chinese and American foods, among many other favorites, including kettle korn, cheese curds, strawberries and crème, apples and caramel dip, and milk from the Carver County Dairy Association concessions.

The Carver County Fairgrounds in Waconia, consisting of 23.4 acres, is the site of the Carver County Fair, and the governing body is the board of directors of the Carver County Agricultural Society, which was formed in 1951. The board meets on a regular basis throughout the year to organize and prepare for the fair each year.

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