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Early county fair brings new events

The Wadena County Fair, typically held in August, is coming up this weekend with a larger carnival and other new features.

Malinda Dexter, fair board treasurer, said the 119th fair, set to be held June 28-30, was scheduled earlier in order to book additional features.

This year's carnival event, put on by Midwest Rides, has been part of the Minnesota State Fair.

Pre-purchased tickets are cheaper than tickets at the gate, and can be purchased at Thrifty White, Fleet Supply, Glamour Salon, the VFW, the fair office and fair board members. Advance tickets may be purchased until 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Fair board president Mike Olson said there are 16 total rides coming, including the Ferris wheel, bumper cars and a ride ironically called The Twister.

He also said there are supposed to be 10-12 games, and about four concessions.

Dexter said there is a new petting zoo this year. It will be open all three days and includes giraffes, zebras, wallabies and other species.

Olson said a rock climbing wall and a bungee jump will also be featured.

Dexter and Olson said the Saturday evening rodeo event, set to start at 6 p.m. at the grandstand area, is also new.

Additionally, the Buffington Rodeo Company is putting on a show, which will include local competitors. The entry deadline is June 25, and competitors can call Buffington at 605-733-2030 to join.

"Mutton Bustin" - that is, sheep riding - will also be available for the first 20 kids aged six and under who sign up at the rodeo.

The band "Switch", which has performed at the VFW and the Texaco Country Showdown, will perform after the rodeo.

In addition, a mounted shooting demonstration will take place 3-5 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

Dexter said those involved with the shooting demonstration will be using old replica pistols and running at full speed.

"I know it's early, but it should be a good fair," Fair Board Director Barb Butler said. "Hopefully we get a good turnout."