By Starrla Cray
CARVER COUNTY, MN From grizzly bear shows to grandstand events, the Carver County Fair is gearing up for a great week, starting Wednesday, Aug. 8.
The excitement promises to continue through Sunday, Aug. 12, with an overflow of activities to suit any interest.
New this year is military appreciation day, Friday, Aug. 10.
“Veterans get free admission that day,” fair manager Mike Jensen said.
A veterans march will take place at 2 p.m., with lineup at the Bayview South parking lot (four blocks north of fairgrounds), followed by a veterans honor program at 2:30 p.m. in the entertainment center.
For more information, contact Dan Steinhagen at (952) 442-2769.
Plenty of new attractions are planned throughout the fair, such as Welde’s Big Bear Show featuring “Grizzly Falls,” with daily performances at 2, 4, and 6 p.m.
Animal lovers will also want to meet the new baby giraffe at Vogel’s Petting Zoo.
“That’s pretty rare, I’m told,” Jensen said.
Livestock shows also feature a variety of animals, such as horses, pigeons, cows, rabbits, pigs, sheep, llamas, alpacas, and more.
For those interested in making animals part of their career, the University of Minnesota is offering a three-hour veterinarian training camp Aug. 10 from 3 to 6 p.m. in the tent next to the dairy barn. VetCamp, designed for students in grades 9-12, teaches real clinical skills through hands-on activities and games. To register, go to the U of M VetCamp website.
Music in store
All kinds of good music is also in store for the 2012 Carver County Fair.
Evening entertainment center performers include Johnny Holm (Aug. 8), G.B. Leighton (Aug. 9), DiamondBack (Aug. 10), and Boogie Wonderland (Aug. 11), all starting at 8:30 p.m.
Daytime musicians such as Lyndon Peterson, Daisy & the Dukes, Charlie Johnson Old Time Music, Blurred Vision, Cindy Eggers, Chuck Thiel and his Jolly Ramblers, and Dale Dahmen and the Beats will also entertain throughout the week.
Little-known performers will also have a chance to shine, with the amateur talent contest Aug. 12 at 1 p.m. in the entertainment center. Divisions include pre-teen, teen, and open, with prize money ranging from $10 to $90.
Grandstand and more
The grandstand is another site for daily adventure, starting with a free ATV pull at 7 p.m. Aug. 8.
Other grandstand events include the Aug. 9 motokazie supercross (7 p.m.), the Aug. 10 tractor truck pull (6:30 p.m.), and two days of the demolition derby (Aug. 11 at 6:30 p.m., and Aug. 12 at 6 p.m.).
The midway, provided by Gold Star Amusements, is another fair favorite. Rides open at 3 p.m. Aug. 8. The opening time is noon Aug. 9, 11, and 12, and 1 p.m. Aug. 10. Before the start of the fair, advanced ride tickets (five rides for $10) are available at most Carver County banks and via 4-H Club members.
Fun food is a tradition at the Carver County Fair, with selections such as apple-pie-on-a-stick, deep fried s’mores, cream cheese wontons, teriyaki beef jerky, rib platters, fresh-squeezed lemonade, and much more.
Each day of the fair has unique benefits. Thursday, Aug. 9 is “senior citizens day,” for example, with half-price admission for everyone age 60 and over from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. An “outstanding senior citizen” will be given the Carver County Senior Citizen of the Year award at 1 p.m. in the entertainment center that day. During the awards ceremony, Carver County Century Farms will also be recognized.
Saturday, Aug. 11 is “kids day,” featuring a prize-giveaway for ages 12 and under. Sign-up is at the patio starting at 11 a.m., with the drawing taking place at 3:30 p.m. Children must be present to win.
At 11 a.m. that day, youth can enjoy dairy fun and games at Shady Oak Ridge with the dairy princesses and ambassadors, as well as a pedal pull (ages 4 to 11) at the entertainment center.
New to the Aug. 11 activities is a cake decorating demonstration, provided by Mackenthuns, at 3 p.m. in the ag building.
To learn more about the Carver County Fair, call (952) 442-2333, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to the Carver County Fair website.