Wednesday, June 3, 2020
The opening of the Steele County Free Fair included Berlyn Staska performing on his bugle during the flag raising ceremony. The ceremony also featured color guards from around the county, as well as patriotic songs from the Knights of Columbus chorus. The fair ended Sunday night after more than 300,000 peopled attended during the six-day extravaganza.

Fair screams and moos past 300K

After a couple gloomy and rainy days in the middle of fair week, Mother Nature showered fair officials with a gorgeous weekend to help boost attendance over the 300,000 mark. 

Fair officials estimated this year’s attendance at 300,717, a 7 percent increase over 2016. The fair set a record attendance of 339,000 in 2014. 

“It’s not a bad year when you can top 300,000,” said Todd Hale, the fair’s publicity manager. “The two beautiful weekend days helped make up for the loss of attendance from the rainy days,” he added. 

Saturday was one of the “biggest days we’ve ever had,” said Jim Gleason, manager of the fair. “Saturday really jumps out. It was a huge day,” 

The fair is unable to provide attendance figures for specific days. 

One of the gauges used to determine attendance is ATM transactions. The fair set a record of 2,624 ATM transactions, along with a record of $168,000 in cash disbursements. 

Mega ride sales were down about 10 percent from the previous year. The fair sold 4,812 mega rides compared to 5,477 in 2016. 

The fair now looks ahead to next year, which will mark a century of being on the current fairgrounds. Next year’s fair will be Aug. 14 – 19, and the theme will be “A Century Scene in 2018.” 

See full story in this week’s print edition or subscribe online. Please subscribe here or current subscribers can login here.

Steele County Times & DCI

Steele County Times
411 E. Main St.
P.O. Box 247
Blooming Prairie, MN 55917

Dodge County Independent
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944

Dodge County Printing
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944


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