Fairgrounds closed to through traffic

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The Hwy 10 and Birch Ave. access to the Wadena County Fairgrounds are now closed. The roads were seeing increased traffic during the recent road closures in Wadena. Rebecca Mitchell/Pioneer Journal

Traffic from one side of Wadena to the other can be a headache during the current road closures. One remedy for some people has been to go around the Second Street and Hwy 10 intersection by slipping through the Wadena County Fairgrounds.

But that route is also going away after the Wadena County board of commissioners heard from Wadena County Fair Board president Darin Lehmann about the increased traffic at the site. In addition to more traffic in areas not designated as streets, people have also been spotted driving around on the grass as if lost.

“Some of the traffic, and the way people are, it’s just ridiculous,” Lehmann said. He further commented about people driving through the grounds and compared it to people driving through people’s private yards.

Fair board members put out a request on Facebook asking people to slow down. A traffic cone meant to warn people of their speeds was also stolen, according to their social media page.


While there was disagreement between Lehmann and the board over which access to keep open, the board eventually settled on closing Hwy 10 and Birch Ave. accesses, while keeping Cedar Ave. open. Lehmann felt that the Hwy 10 access should remain open for those needing access.

Wadena County Highway Department staff placed closure signs and blockades on the entries Tuesday afternoon. The Cedar Ave. entrance will remain open for those who still need access to the grounds including bus drivers who park school buses there, Wadena County Sheriff’s staff, who need access to their building, and fair board members and volunteers working on the grounds. The board was hopeful this would keep people from driving into this area while work is being done on the grounds. Lehmann said walk-in traffic is still be allowed.

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Birch Ave. and the Hwy 10 entry to the Wadena County Fairgrounds are now closed. Submitted photo

Michael Johnson is the news editor for Agweek. He lives in rural Deer Creek, Minn., where he is starting to homestead with his two children and wife.
You can reach Michael at or 218-640-2312.
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