Itasca County Fair Celebrates 126 Years
Itasca County kicked off their 126th annual fair today. Around Grand Rapids, the fairgrounds is known as the gem of Itasca. The venue is home to many events throughout the year, but the big show is always the fair.
“Some of the things that you won’t find anywhere else in a county fair is finding your fairgrounds in the middle of your town and looking out onto a beautiful lake, and you look in the other direction, full of pines, camping areas – it’s beautiful here,” says Melissa Johnson, the president of the Itasca County Fair Board.
The fair lasts five days, and each one of those days is something special. Wednesday is called Entry Day, Thursday is Kiddy Day, Friday is Senior Day and Saturday is a reunion type of day. Sunday is for veterans. During Entry Day, students compete in various 4-H competitions. Some of them have been preparing since last October.
“It’s a great opportunity for kids to develop leadership and confidence. They are involved in the project area from design to culmination,” says Rebecca Rasmussen, the Itasca County 4-H program coordinator.
The Itasca County Fair is also known for its community vendors and food. This year, people with a sweet tooth can try deep-fried brownies, cheesecake, candy bars and cookie dough.
Dan Deering, with Aunt Ed-Moe’s Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies, says about the deep-fried cookie dough, “It’s chocolate chip cookie dough with no eggs in it. It’s dipped in a funnel cake batter and then deep-fried and, like I said, out of all the product we sell, this is our number-one seller.”
Animals, including more than 75 horses, will arrive to the fairgrounds tonight. There will also be BMX races, live music and tons of competitions throughout the weekend.
“It’s a family reunion. You wouldn’t believe the people that come home just for the fair, to see all their friends and family. It’s a special time,” says Johnson.
Rasmussen adds, “The Itasca County Fair is the best fair in Minnesota! In my opinion.”
Organizers estimate between 40 and 45 thousand people will come through the Itasca County Fair this year. You can visit their website for more information and find a complete schedule on their Facebook page.