Fair: Free fun for families

Good weather is expected as the Pine County Fair – one of only three free gate, free parking county fairs in Minnesota – rolls into town with five big days of summer fun from July 31-Aug. 4.

“We’ve got a great lineup,” said Pine County Fair Board Member Steve Hallan. “Our exhibits are up from our 4-H kids. The carnival’s here, and they’re raring to go.”

“We have the tractor pull, the truck pull and the Friday-Saturday derbies,” said Pine County Fair Board President Pete Leibel.

Leibel said the organizers of Sunday Funday – with free events for kids starting at noon – have gone above and beyond this year, and that many new sponsors have become involved.

“We have a lot of businesses that are very supportive of Sunday Funday, and it’s going to be bigger and better than anything we’ve seen before,” he said.

A new scavenger hunt is part of that fun, and kids can pick up a card with clues in the fair office. There are 10 locations for the kids to find on the fairgrounds. Once they figure out the clue and find the location, they will put a stamp on the card. Once all locations have been found, they return the card to the fair office and enter to win a drawing for fair tokens. The winner will be drawn on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.

“It’s a fun, interactive way for the kids to experience all the different things that we have at the Fair,” said Wendy Leibel, one of the organizers of the event. “Hopefully they’ll see something new that they haven’t seen before. We’re building that next generation of people who appreciate the Fair. ”

Families can also spend a day at the fair enjoying free music, thanks to a generous grant from the East Central Regional Arts Council.

Live music will be performed every day of the fair at the Bandshell and Event Center at absolutely no charge. Fairgoers may also view the exhibits and animal events for free.

“It is a community celebration,” Wendy said. “We just enjoy Pine County as a community – and that’s what it is, the community coming together.”

For more information visit www.pinecountyfair.com.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the East Central Regional Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

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