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County Fair promoters expect big things in '08

The 115th annual Wadena County Fair July 24-26 is set to be bigger than last year, according to fair officials.

Jeff Nardello, president of the Ag Society, said they are expecting even higher attendance than the 2007 fair, which was about four times what it was in 2006.

"We're hoping that rather than spend gas and travel to some far away place to go to a fair that folks around here will come and give the Wadena County Fair another try," he said.

There are a lot of new and exciting things for young and old, Nardello said.

"For a smaller fair that has a free entry gate there's a lot of opportunity," he said.

New this year are Family Fun Day and Senior Citizen Day, both of which will be held today (Thursday).

Family Fun Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Kids can create "Soy Boy" necklaces with a sprouting soybean, make ice cream in a bag and participate in other activities. There are also reduced priced tickets for the inflatable rides. There is no carnival this year. They are pretty much impossible to hire anymore, Nardello said.

Senior Day will be held from noon to 4 p.m. and features Tennessee Horse Shoes, card tournaments and a Minnesota Zoo exhibit. Friendly Rider will be available for transportation to the fair.

New events include an Underwater Adventures tank of sea animals that children will be able to touch, a magician, an antique car show, a Wild West show, an apple pie baking contest, a beer garden sponsored by Wadena Inn & Grill, a craft show and a quilt block challenge sponsored by Ben Franklin Crafts.

Several bands will perform live music, he said.

"It's going to probably be three times as much stuff as last year," Nardello said. "There's just so many things."

The dunk tank is back this year and is being manned by Wal-Mart, Relay for Life, the National Guard and one other group, he said. They are picking their own people to dunk.

"We don't know who they are yet," he said.

Other returning favorite events are fireworks Thursday night, the Pedal Pull sponsored by Strayer Dairy and the petting zoo sponsored by the Pine Cone 4-H club.

In order to create an enjoyable atmosphere during the fair, mosquitoes will be controlled using an organic application, Nardello said.

Nardello encouraged people to take a door prize ticket at the gate. There is no cost for the tickets and it helps organizers to determine attendance numbers.

"The better attendance we have the more opportunities we have to get better shows," he said.

Some of the events for the 2008 Wadena County Fair include:


• 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Petting zoo

• 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Inflatable games

• 10 a.m. Exhibit buildings open

• 2-8 p.m. Dunk tank


• 9 a.m. 4-H livestock show

• 10 a.m. "Soy Boy" experiment

• 10:30 a.m. Egg and spoon race

• 11:30 a.m. Coin scramble

• 12:30 p.m. Homemade ice cream in a bag experiment

• 12-2 p.m. Minnesota Zoo exhibit

• 12-4 p.m. Senior Day games

• 2:30 p.m. General livestock show

• 5-8 p.m. Underwater Adventures

• 5 p.m. 4-H poultry show

• 7 p.m. Demo Derby

• 9:45 Friend of the fair award

• 10 p.m. Fireworks


• 9:30 a.m. 4-H dairy followed by Open Class

• 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Underwater Adventures

• 2 p.m. Coin scramble

• 2 p.m. 4-H goat show

• 3:30 4-H llama show

• 4:30 P.A.W.S. pet parade

• 5-8 p.m. Underwater Adventures

• 5 p.m. 4-H rabbit show

• 6-9 p.m. Band -- Whistle Pigs

• 7 p.m. Texas Hold'em

• 7 p.m. Enduro

• 9-11 p.m. Band -- Tempest Fugent


• 9 a.m. 4-H dog show

• 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Underwater Adventures

• 11 a.m. Roberto the Magician

• 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wild West show

• 1-4 p.m. Antique car show

• 1:30 p.m. 4-H demonstrations

• 2 p.m. Apple pie baking contest

• 2 p.m. Coin scramble

• 2 p.m. 4-H fashion revue

• 3-5 p.m. Airplane and helicopter exhibition, RC modeling club

• 3 p.m. Roberto the Magician

• 3 p.m. 4-H pride auction

• 3:30 p.m. Pedal pull

• 4-8 p.m. Battle of the Bands

• 5 p.m. Roberto the Magician

• 5-8 p.m. Underwater Adventures

• 6 p.m. Truck and tractor pull

• 8 p.m. Band dance

• 8 p.m. Band -- Tempest Fugent

Special Sunday event:

• 2 p.m. Mud run at the grandstand