I know I am biased, but our county has one of the better county fairs in southern Minnesota. The dates of our fair are August 15-21, 2016.
Free parking but there is a gate admission:
Age 9 and under – free.
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday – $6,
Wednesday and Saturday – $9.
Personally, I purchase the advanced season pass for $20 because I go nearly every. single. day. . . and you will soon find out why I feel the season pass is the “bargain of the year.”
So let’s get started with 10 reasons to attend the Martin County Fair!
1. 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit
The 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit is a special 1000 square foot exhibit created to remember the New York firefighters from 9/11, and more specifically FDNY firefighter, Stephen Siller. The memorial provides interactive education including artifacts such as steel beams from the towers, documentary videos, recordings of first responder radio transmissions and live tours by FDNY firefighters. And the best part? It is free with admission to the fair. In addition, there will be a couple FDNY firefighters accompanying the memorial. This is a must see.
9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. daily.
2. The Entertainment
This is what makes the season pass a no-brainer in my opinion. All the entertainment is performed in a small, outside park in an intimate setting. And . . . is included with your fair admission! Here is the lineup:
- Tuesday, 8:30, Johnny Holm – a regional favorite
- Wednesday, 8:30, Hairball – a ton of fun as they perform and dress the part of 80’s music and bands
- Thursday, 8:30, Little Texas – Ahh, yes, country rock music
- Saturday, 8:30, Chase Bryant – The country act headliner of the fair!
Does it get any better?
3. Pork Chop On-A-Stick
This deserves a category all it’s own! The newest addition to the fair this year is a gazebo built by the Martin County Pork Producers. You can’t miss it–it’s located outside the southeast corner of the industrial building. And inside the gazebo structure are pork producing families selling pork chops on-a-stick and pork burgers. And they are the best! All seasoned with our county’s very own, “Martin County Magic Seasoning.” What makes it really special is a number of pork families take a time slot and grill together as a family. I love it.
4. “Other” Fair Food
Yes, there is other fair food. It’s not all pork. The fair board does a really nice job of bringing in a variety of typical fair food. Mini Donuts, Queens apples, cotton candy, hot dogs, cheese curds, french fries, onion rings, corn dogs, Gerhardt’s food trailer, Martin County Dairy Association with malts and much more. And don’t forget the St. Paul’s Lutheran church food building (and the yummy pies!) and the 4-H food stand. Make sure you visit both!
5. Quality Fair Buildings
I love the quality of our fair buildings. From the multi-purpose to the industrial buildings to the livestock buildings to the Keizer arena. They are all quality buildings and they elevate the quality of our fair.
6. John Deere Day
Thursday is John Deere Day. Special activities hosted by Martin County Implement. Kids activities from 4-7 p.m. Free kids T-Shirts and face painting. John Deere toy gator races. Be sure to stop by for the fun.
7. Free Pork Feed
Yes, you read that correctly. There is a FREE pork feed (pork sandwiches) and FREE milk on Tuesday evening. 5:00 p.m. Be there.
8. Pork Cook-Off
Are you hearing a recurrent theme here? More pork! It only stands to reason because we are the #1 pork producing county in Minnesota and we rank #6 nationally. We love pork! Wednesday night is a pork cook-off competition. Area restaurants/caterers prepare a pork dish and compete against their peers for the connoisseur and people’s choice awards on Wednesday evening. It’s fun to see the different pork dishes created by the competitors.
9. The People
I just love the people at the fair. You always, always see someone you know. Whether it’s friends, family or neighbors, they will be there. Growing up I went to the fair once during fair week. Now? I go almost every day. In fact, there have been times where I barely see any of the fair exhibits because I continually run into people I know!
10. The Exhibits – Animals, 4-H, FFA and Open Class
I love watching our young people and children competing at the fair. They showcase their hard work by bringing their animals and fair projects. Watching them work and seeing the pride they have with their animals is wonderful. It truly does restore your faith in our country’s future.
This isn’t a complete list of everything at the fair but these are my highlights. Check out Martin County Fair website to read a complete list of the fair events.
The fair is slow-paced and a fun place to visit. Usually the weather is great during fair week–warm days and cooler nights. I look forward to it every year (even though it usually means summer is coming to an end ) and I truly appreciate all the hard work our fair board puts in to make the fair better every year.