I absolutely love county fairs! Normally our “busyness” of the farm slows down in August, which is wonderful because county fairs in Minnesota are in full throttle. I look forward to this midwest tradition during the late summer season. Here are 10 reasons why you must attend the Martin County Fair!
I know I am biased, but we do have one of the better county fairs in southern Minnesota. The dates of our fair are August 14-19, 2018
Free parking but there is a gate admission:
Age 9 and under – free.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday -$8
Personally, I purchase the advanced season pass for $25 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. 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, 6:00 and 7:30 – Rodger Hadley, comedian
- Wednesday, 8:30, Johnny Holm Band, a regional favorite. Love the audience participation!
- Thursday, 8:30, Hairball – a ton of fun as they perform and dress the part of 80’s music and bands.
- Friday, Holy, Rocka, Rollaz – 50’s music.
- Saturday, 8:30, Chris Lane – The country act headliner of the fair!
Does it get any better?
2. Pork Chop On-A-Stick
This deserves a category all it’s own! Just look for the gazebo (southeast corner of the industrial building) or use the nose test. You will smell grilled pork and lots of it. And inside the gazebo structure are pork producing families selling and grilling pork chops on-a-stick and pork burgers. We are the home to THEE MARTIN COUNTY PORK CHOP seasoned with our county’s very own, “Martin County Magic Seasoning.” What makes it really special is many pork families take a time slot and grill together as a family.
3. “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!
4. High Oleic Soybean Oil
You may wonder why this is making my top 10 this year. Well, some Martin County soybean farmers are planting a new soybean called a high oleic soybean. The purpose of the bean is the oil that it produces. The oil has zero trans fat and lower saturated fat. It also has a high heating cooking temperature and doesn’t break down so the oil lasts longer and makes the fryer cleaning much easier. So, the Martin County Corn and Soybean group donated all the high oleic oil for St. Paul Lutheran’s church stand, the 4-H stand, and the racetrack. It also is less greasy.
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 caliber 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 caricature drawings ($10). John Deere remote control car/trike/kid gator races. Be sure to stop by for the fun.
7. 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 #6 nationally. We love our 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.
8. Bacon Capital Day
Lots of fun with celebrating bacon. Come meet Mart T the pig!
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 a slow-paced, 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.