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Wadena County Fair scheduled for July 27-31

First there was the long rebuilding process from the June 2010 tornado, then there was Tuesday's windstorm that knocked down the commercial building again, but the Wadena County Fair is still going strong and has lined up a variety of events for its schedule from Wednesday, July 27 to Sunday, July 31.

Events new to this year include the BAJA races at 7 p.m. Friday and the ATV and Lawn Mower Pull at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Other grandstand events include Motocross at 7 p.m. Wednesday and Demo Derby and Enduro Races at 2 p.m. Sunday.

An antique tractor show will take place noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

The Tina & Lena comedy act will take place at the center stage at 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Friday.

The carnival this year is by Midwest Rides, and Fair Board Secretary-Treasurer Malinda Dexter said it would be bigger and have more rides than last year. The carnival rides are open 6-9 p.m. Wednesday and 1 p.m. to close Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Ride tickets are $10 for a sheet of eight if pre-purchased from Thrifty White Drug, KWAD's Wheeler Dealer or any of the fair board members. Otherwise they are $24 for a sheet of eight at the gate.

On Saturday, there will be a talent show at 2 p.m. and a battle of the bands at 5 p.m. with $1,000 in prizes.

"We need local talent," Dexter said, adding that it was open to anyone and not limited to just Wadena County and surrounding towns.

"We've drawn a lot from Brainerd for battle of the bands," Fair Board Director Lisa Cochran said.

The talent show has three age divisions: 12 and under, 13 to 18 and adults. It includes singing, dancing, instrumental, comedy and other acts.

Dexter said that there was an uptick in participation for some categories this year.

"There's more 4-H lifestock this year than we've had in several years," she said.

"The barns should be full," Cochran said.

Some other fair events include a wine tasting contest, apple pie baking contest, barnyard Olympics, Humane Society pet parade, WSCA horse show and Nite Owl beer garden.

Last year, much of the county fair was held under tents as the June 17 EF4 tornado had destroyed many buildings five weeks prior.

This year, the 4-H building has been restored. The horse barn, stalls and arena have been rebuilt. The dairy barn and sheep barn were repaired.

"Lots of things got new roofs," Cochran said.

With the grandstand gone, there are new bleachers.

Some of the trees are gone, too.

"We had to sacrifice some of those for safety issues," Cochran said. "I'm just glad they took them down instead of some of them breaking off."

The weakened trees were removed shortly before the Tuesday storm took out the new commercial building, which was under construction at the time.

The county fair board is aiming to have the fallen commercial building rebuilt in time for the fair.

Dexter and Cochran said the camaraderie of the people is the best part of the county fair.

"It's the people getting together and having fun," Dexter said.

For the talent show and battle of the bands, contact Bryon Lalum at (218) 640-5200.

For other information, contact Malinda Dexter at (218) 639-3361 or go to the website at