Jun 22, 2018 | By: Anthony Scott

Wadena County Fair Celebrates 125 Years

Whether it’s carnival rides, games, or the different foods, everyone can find something at the Wadena County Fair’s 125th anniversary.

“So far, we’ve enjoyed the rides that are available at the Wadena County Fair,” attendee Steph Wiegand said. “Also the interactions with the animals, the kids don’t have any animals at home besides a cat, so being able to pet a cow is kind of cool for them.”

“It’s a really nice day out, and this fair is actually pretty nice,” Sam Richard, a fair attendee, said. “They have a lot of things like this for free, the National Guard has a pretty good setup, and the rides are pretty good.”

To celebrate 125 years, the fair provides 125 cupcakes at the start of each day. There are also more events and vendors than ever, and Princess Kay of the Milky Way even made an appearance.

“It’s really an honor to be requested; I really enjoy getting to travel to different places in Minnesota and sharing the dairy story,” Emily Annexstad, also known as Princess Kay of the Milky Way, said. “This afternoon, I stopped by their open class dairy show that’s going on, and now I’m in their family fun center sampling cheese samples.”

The best part about the fair is that it is free to enter and even free to come into the petting zoo, where they have llamas, alpacas, goats, and zebras – all different types of animals for the family.

“The petting zoo is free, and you can feed the animals for only a quarter [which] is pretty cool,” Richard said. “The people are really nice here, like the workers, that’s for sure.”

The fair is beautiful now, but it came a long way considering the disaster that took place less than ten years ago.

“The grounds here were pretty much destroyed by a tornado in 2010, and we have been able to rebuild the fairgrounds with beautiful facilities,” Kylene Lehmann, Wadena County AG Society Secretary, said.

The rebuild has paid off as the fair has become a staple to Wadena.

“I think Wadena has a great sense of community and a great sense of family, and it kind of incorporates the outlying communities as well,” Wiegand said. “A lot of people are related and know people, so I think the amount of people that invest their time and efforts into this really shows through.”

And organizers are already thinking about next year.

“As we go we think of things that could be tweaked a little, we had a news event last night, we had a lumberjack show, and the grandstand was packed,” Lehmann said. “So we are thinking of keeping that Thursday night and switching it up with different events.”

The Wadena County Fair will run until Sunday, June 24th.

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