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Late start for the fair

The Becker County Fair will be held later than usual this summer.

This year the fair had some scheduling issues with the midway or carnival portion and had do some juggling of the schedule.

“We couldn’t get the carnival; our carnival signed another (appearance) the same weekend we do ours, so we had to push it back,” said Fair Manager and President Bob Sonnenberg. Not to worry, next year the fair will be back to its traditional dates in the last week in July.

The midway company that the fair board normally uses, Amusement Attractions, had a scheduling conflict.

Usually held during the last week in July, this year’s fair will instead be held two weeks later, from Aug. 7-10.

That way it doesn’t conflict with WE Fest, but   will be held the same week as the Pine to Palm golf tournament, which begins two days earlier, on Aug. 5, and wraps up one day later.

Fair organizers hope to tap some of those Pine to Palm crowds for the evening fair activities.

Overall, the fact that the event is two weeks later than usual looks to be having a fairly positive effect; in fact, livestock entries alone have increased 25 percent from last year.

Sonnenberg is very excited about this year’s turnout. “Some of the exhibits will be higher, I think the commercial booths will be higher too,” he said.

Other than a new date, the fair includes new and returning acts such as trapeze artist Laura Herst, who performed 2-3 years ago and is back by popular demand, said Sonnenberg.

Due to an elevated amount of destruction this year, the fair will also be sporting a lot of improvements.

“We had a lot of vandalism, so we’ve fixed a lot of stuff. People were wrecking the horse barns, breaking the gates off, they broke into the 4H kitchen, they broke into the office and ripped the air conditioner off the wall, we’ve had stuff stolen, and not three weeks ago we had vandalism on a county transit building,” he said. “It’s a lot of work getting things back in shape,” he added.

Despite the extra work these vandals have created, the committee is dedicated to putting on a good show.

The horse barn has been fixed, as has the office and the kitchen, and two of the buildings will be sporting new roofs.

Sonnenberg thinks this year will be better than ever. “We’re getting many calls in our open exhibit, the board as a whole gets about 10 calls a day about entries; we’ve never seen that before. We think it’s going to be fantastic,” he said.

Haley Foster | DL-Online