It is a tradition that draws in about 35,000 attendees each year for fun, food, entertainment and education. The 158th annual Goodhue County Fair is Aug. 6-10 in Zumbrota.
The fair has carnival food and traditional food such as deep-fried cheese curds, cotton candy, grilled pork sandwiches and sandwiches.
“The Goodhue Lions serve hot dogs and brats,” member of the fair board, Carl Bang said. “The American Dairy Association has a malt stand.”
The Beer Garden provides access to a free jukebox all week. The garden hosts a variety of musical entertainment including country music by Dave Carpenter & Friends and polka music by Ray Sands’ band, the Polka Dots.
Beyond the food, the fair has activities for people of all ages including a carnival with rides. The grandstand continues to have its annual entertainment. Bang says there is always a strong interest in the demolition derbies and autocross racing.
“We get tremendous crowds for demolition derbies,” Bang said.
Some of the grandstand activities are free while others — demolition derby, tractor pull and autocross racing — have an additional admission fee. Local people compete in these shows.
The fair’s other entertainment includes the All American Lumberjack show, Granpa Cratchet’s puppet show, a 4-H building complete with exhibits and, new this year, Knockerball. According to the Knockerball website, “Knockerball is a single chamber inflatable sphere with inner handles and adjustable shoulder straps.”
Open class competitions are another highlight of the fair. Divisions includes quilts, flowers, vegetables, crafts, needle arts, woodworking and several others. Awards are given in each class.
“We've got a lot of things that interest a lot of different people,” Bang said, “We've got a good quilt show, got a lot of entries in flowers and vegetables.”
There are a number of special food contests with prizes, an adult chocolate dessert baking contest, cheesecake and coffee cake contest and fruit pie contest. New this year are the cupcake contest and BBQ beef cook-off. These competitions are sponsored by local organizations and businesses.
The five-day fair presents an opportunity for members of the county to interact with one another.
“The thing I like most is going to meet new people,” Bang said.
Bang says he thinks the community aspect of the fair is very important and that the Goodhue County Fair brings residents from all across the county together.
If you go…
What: Goodhue County Fair
When:, Aug. 6-10
Where: 44279 County 6 Blvd., Zumbrota
Admission prices: Daily gate pass - $5; Season gate pass - $12; under 12 years old enter free