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Summer shines at State Fair!

by Luann Dart

Co-ops greet fairgoers July 26

Co-ops serving breakfast at KX/Co-op Day at the FairExperience fun and fellowship as North Dakota cooperatives thank members for their patronage by teaming up with KXMC-TV in Minot for the annual KX/Co-op Day at the State Fair July 26. 

KX/Co-op Day begins at 7:30 a.m. with a free pancake and sausage breakfast located behind the Commercial II Building on the fairgrounds. Cooperative volunteers will serve pancakes and sausage to fairgoers until 9:30 a.m. Following the breakfast, fairgoers will be able to visit with cooperatives under the KX/Co-op Day tent from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., learning more about the cooperatives’ products and services. Prizes and cash will be given away throughout the day.

From 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., cooperative volunteers will scoop and serve free ice cream cones to fairgoers as another way to show gratitude to their members for their support.

Whether it’s a summer tradition or a family’s first venture, North Dakota State Fair visitors can expect topnotch entertainment, an action-packed carnival and one-of-a-kind food during the State Fair in Minot July 21-29, with the theme “Where Summer Shines.”

But the heart and soul of the North Dakota State Fair are the 4-H, FFA and open class exhibits vying for the top prize. Last year, the fair hosted more than 46,000 competitive exhibits.

“I want people to come and see the beautiful quilts that we have hanging, the paintings, the newly created treasures. It’s incredible what people have put together. Then you get into the animals, the horses, cattle, sheep and goats. We have a barn for just bunnies,” says North Dakota State Fair Manager Renae Korslien. “It’s such a showcase. These kids are just phenomenal.”

From the 4-H and FFA events to free entertainment to competitions galore, there is plenty of entertainment included in the gate admission at the State Fair. Admission for ages 7-12 is $5 per day, while adult gate admission for ages 13 and up is $10. If you’re planning to attend the fair for more than two days, you can purchase a season pass. An adult pass is $25, while a junior pass is $15.

New to the State Fair this year is the Western Grand National Truck and Tractor Pull at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 25, when trucks and tractors do some serious heavy lifting.

“We’re very excited to have that part of our showpass,” Korslien says.

The State Fair is bringing other new entertainment to the grounds, including “an adventure 65 million years in the making,” as an animated dinosaur roars and swishes his tail while strolling the grounds throughout the nine-day fair. The Fritters, super-sized furry characters, will return to the fair to also stroll the grounds.

Another new act is Flippenout, a free trampoline show with complex acrobatic routines with daily shows at 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Also new is an extreme raptor show, with many different species of birds on display all nine days.

“Another nine-day event that we’re excited about is Lexi Wyman is going to be here. She’s popular around North Dakota and we’re proud to have her,” Korslien says. Wyman is a 19-year-old singer from Newburg who will perform at 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. daily.

Midway at the North Dakota State Fair in the eveningThis year’s grandstand entertainment, which starts at 8 p.m. each night, includes:

• Friday, July 21 – Little Big Town

• Saturday, July 22 – Fergie

• Sunday, July 23– Brothers Osborne

• Monday, July 24 – Enduro Race

• Tuesday, July 25– Western Grand National Truck and Tractor Pull

• Wednesday, July 26 – Thomas Rhett

• Thursday, July 27 – Lonestar

• Friday, July 28 – Jason Aldean

• Saturday, July 29 – Paramore

While you’re on the grounds, sample the unique food at the State Fair by finding your favorite vendor on the “Food Finder” portion of the fair’s website at Commercial vendor booths and food booths are packed to the brim on the fairgrounds featuring everything from jewelry to machinery and new, unique foods such as a deep-fried cookie dough sundae, Dutch apple funnel cake, buffalo wings and bleu cheese Angus burgers.

Korslien also noted the many free stages, for which the fair is famous, are also superb quality this year, with entertainment ranging from local talent to the Fur Traders Rendezvous to the popular Daryl’s Racing Pigs.

The North Dakota Game and Fish Outdoors Skills Park will be open 1-7 p.m. daily, offering hands-on instructions in fishing, archery and trapping.

The state parade starts at 9:15 a.m. and winds throughout the fairgrounds on July 22.

Contests range from a pony pull to an amateur talent contest, from milking a cow to arm wrestling.

Special days at the fair include:

• July 24. Bring a nonperishable food item to the admission gates and get a coupon for $1 off gate admission during the canned food drive.

• July 24, Pride of Dakota Day – Purchase products made in North Dakota July 24. A hot dog lunch is offered to fairgoers for only $1 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. under the tent, with proceeds going to the North Dakota FFA.

• July 25. Military Appreciation Day, with a free beef picnic for all military members and their families from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• July 26. KX/Co-op Day. (See related story.)

• July 27. During Senior Day, the fair will be offering half off gate admission for those 65 and older. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., visit the Senior Day Festival in the Upper Atrium of the State Fair Center for music, games and prizes.

To learn more, visit