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It certainly was an interesting fair

By Staff | Aug 6, 2017

Carolyn Zierke was the instigator and coordinator of the new attraction at the Faribault County Fair, the “Flea Junktion.” It had nearly 60 vendors show up and drew a lot of interest from folks in the area.

Despite having the cards stacked against them, the Faribault County Fair fair board still managed to put on a ‘fairly’ good fair.

Everyone knows the carnival bailed out and did not make it. The fair board came up with a series of so-called blow up “bouncy houses.” They were actually a little bit more than that. While they did indeed have to be inflated, they were much more than just a bouncy house, although there was one of those for younger kids.

There were a couple of water slides, a maze, some adventures (think American Ninja) and even a soccer game where kids had to wear giant bubbles to compete.

The best part? For a $5 wristband the kids could go on all of them (except the soccer game) all evening long. The kids loved it because they could go as long as they wanted, and the parents loved it because it was just $5.

I heard a lot of parents say they didn’t miss the carnival at all, and felt the inflatable games were actually a better deal. And nicer, safer, cheaper and they could let the kids enjoy them as long as they wanted to.

So there you go.

Plus, the playground equipment at the fair seemed to be getting a good workout by the kids.

Now if there was just something more for the teenagers. A paint ball wars arena, perhaps?

Maybe you didn’t know it, but three of the scheduled food vendors didn’t make it to the fair either. Two of them had health issues and the other one had equipment problems. You might have noticed there were fewer food stands set up along the walking lane south of the grandstand.

But, that translated to bigger sales for the local food stands that were there. The Trinity Lutheran, Hope Methodist, BBQ Boys, Taco Express, Scotty’s BBQ and the 4-H Stand were all busy, especially in the evenings. I know. I tried to hit them all.

Turning the Veterans Building from a beer garden into a saloon was also an interesting idea. Much of the western gear inside came from Marlin Krupp.

There was some good music in the new saloon, too.

Which brings me to my next point. The entertainment. There was plenty of it. And most of it was free. All day long there were programs, music groups, a magician/juggler, hypnotist and more, in the tent and in the saloon. And it was all free.

The grandstands were filled to overflowing for the two popular events the demo derby and the PRCA Rodeo.

And there was something new at the fair that needs to be mentioned. This Flea Junktion thing. I wondered about it, when I first heard about it, but it turned out to be rather impressive. The brainchild of Carolyn Zierke, it ended up having 60 vendors showing up, from at least three states, selling crafts, antiques, and, well, some junk. But interesting junk.

Carolyn pitched the idea to the fair board, noting there was nothing like it in southern Minnesota and it would be a draw for the fair.

She was right. I would guess it will be coming back next year.

I hope you had a chance to check out the fair for yourself. If you didn’t, then check out our two photo pages of action at this year’s Faribault County Fair.

There was plenty of action, entertainment and my favorite, food.

Despite not having a carnival.