Redefining the County Fair

What?  No carnival?

Education has been a part of the county fair since its beginnings.  All ages enter home-grown products and projects for judging through 4-H or the Open class, hoping to win the coveted purple grand champion ribbon.  These items entered did not just happen overnight, as research and hard work have been utilized to give the best possible effort.

The Yellow Medicine County Fair, held in Canby, Minnesota, is a free fair with its grounds and exhibits open to the public.  The fair board works very hard,  year round, to provide educational opportunities, entertainment and still keep the county fair affordable and family friendly.

The arts have been added as this year with displays and demonstrations educating the fair audience on a variety of art forms.  Different styles of painting, photography, fiber arts, sculpture and mixed media were presented in two-hour slots of time.  A free movie was shown at dusk which, for me, is reminiscent of the old drive-in movie days.

For the music lovers,  jazz , old-time , blue-grass, Native American drum and dance group entertained audiences.

Scandinavian comedy was represented by an extremely talented and hilarious duo with local connections that always leave its audience in stitches.

A history element was also added with a very interesting father/daughter history of magic show that was spell-binding and included fun involvement with the audience.  Highly recommend this team of magicians.   Rope making and yarn spinning were demonstrated to give a glimpse of how the pioneers did these tasks many years before our time.

It was also fascinating to see the program put on by the Raptor Center from St. Paul, Minnesota.  Real birds that had been injured so could not survive in the wild were brought out for an educational event with a dust of humor.

Add races and a ranch rodeo… I’m sure I’m missing a few events.

Carnival rides are extremely expensive and this county has been burnt the past two years in a row with rides that never showed up as contracted.  Would you keep throwing money this direction after such experiences?  An appeal was made to community groups and organizations to help fill this void.  Maybe you were that person or group and I applaud you.

So, rather than taking one glance and saying, “Nothing at the fair this year,” maybe you took advantage of the events and programs that were at the fair.

The Yellow Medicine Fair board needs volunteers to help with planning and executing these events so that it doesn’t become merely a time to judge 4-H projects.

Maybe you are that person…?

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Randy worked on a painting while visiting about art.
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Joyce had a large monitor set up to demonstrate the magic of the digital darkroom and enjoyed visiting with people about Photoshop techniques and answered “How did you do that?” questions.

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