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County fair opens today

Amusement attractions workers install gondolas on the ferris wheel at the Becker County Fair midway Tuesday afternoon. DL NEWSPAPERS/Brian Basham

Today marks the opening of the 123rd Becker County Fair.

The fairgrounds have been transformed in preparation for guests to begin arriving, and fair board members have planned four days full of activities. Each day will give guests a unique experience with a different theme.

“It’s a lot of work, but it’s a lot of fun,” said Fair Board President Bob Sonnenberg about getting everything organized for the event.

Sonnenberg heads up a 14-member board which is responsible for everything from booking entertainment to figuring out parking logistics, and this year they hope the event will be better than ever.

Today is Entry Day, as participants in a myriad of events travel to the fairgrounds to register their animals, produce and projects of all shapes and sizes. Judging will begin today and continue through Friday.

Exhibition buildings will be open to the public during the fair to come and peruse all the projects local competitors have been working hard to prepare.

Thursday is Senior Citizens Day, with the Outstanding Senior Citizen Awards Program taking place under the Big Tent at 1:15 p.m. That evening, the Miss and Jr. Miss Becker County Fair pageant will take place at 6:30 p.m.

Friday will be Kids Day, with plenty of activities hosted to engage the little ones. Local 4-H students will also be on hand to present on their projects.

“Learning takes place on both sides,” said Kari Sayer, 4-H coordinator for Becker County in reference to the event.

The kids get a first-hand look at the animals and projects, while 4-H’ers put their public speaking skills to the test explaining all the different projects and activities they’ve been involved with for this year’s fair.

Pony rides, a puppet show and kids games under the big tent will also be held during the afternoon.

A demolition derby, always a draw for crowds, Sonnenberg said, will be held later Friday evening. That event begins at 7 p.m.

Saturday is Family Day. The morning begins with the annual Market Auction Bidders Breakfast in the 4-H kitchen, followed by a round-robin showmanship contest for both FFA and 4-H participants.

The afternoon includes pony rides, plus a fashion revue and entertainment from comedian Jerry Frasier and musician Mike Hokanson under the Big Tent. Another demolition derby will begin at 7 p.m.

The midway opens up at 1 p.m. each afternoon on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

A button drawing will take place each night during the fair, starting at 9:45 p.m. under the Big Tent.

Additionally, the Natural Resources Building will be hosting events all throughout the fair for kids and families.

A full schedule of fair events can be found online at