by Luann Dart
If your family craves some fun under the summer sun, the Red River Valley Fair in West Fargo is the place to be July 10-15, spinning on the carnival rides or singing along at the grandstand.
With the theme, “The Thrill Of It,” it’s all about six days of family fun, says Red River Valley Fair Association General Manager Bryan Schulz. The regional fair blends agricultural and urban communities in a family setting, with plenty of new entertainment this year.
“It continues to get bigger and better. We have great grandstand entertainment, great free stage entertainment and our Ag Education Center is going to be bigger and better this year,” Schulz says.
Buildings are being updated so visitors will see some new upgrades this year, too.
One of the new thrills at the fair will be provided by Action Sports Live. The footprint of the show is 100 by 300 feet, with the thrilling action of BMX motorcycles, BMX bikes and skateboarding tricks. A 9-foot-tall robot named Max Power will be roaming the grounds and inviting kids to the Action Sports Live event.
On the north end of the fairgrounds, an aerial acrobat and dog dock diving show, called WaterBark, will entertain fairgoers throughout the six days of the fair.
Great grandstand acts
“We have a great lineup on the grandstand,” Schulz says. “We have some great ticket promotions so there are great opportunities for people to have some inexpensive fun.”
Grandstand entertainment, which starts at 8 p.m. daily, includes:
• Tuesday, July 10 - Sawyer Brown
• Wednesday, July 11 - Bush
• Thursday, July 12 - Aaron Watson and High Valley
• Friday, July 13 - Brothers Osborne
• Saturday, July 14 - Seether
• Sunday, July 15 - Auto racing, which begins at 6 p.m., includes NOSA Sprint Cars, IMCA Modifieds and INEX Legends.
Tickets for the grandstand shows are free with a paid gate admission. Adult gate admission is $10; youth ages 6-11 is $5; and children ages 5 and under are admitted free. And gate admission is free from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. A special will be offered on Tuesday, July 10, when admission will be $15 for ages 5 and up, which includes gate admission, unlimited midway rides and admission to the concert.
Fair buildings are open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The midway opens at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and noon Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
From farm to fork
The Ag Education Center will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, to allow families to learn about the region’s crops and livestock.
“We wanted to focus on the fact that your food comes from the farm and ends up on your table. The farm to fork has been our overall theme of the Center,” said Liz Neshem. “So we wanted to do a farm to grocery store theme this year for visitors.”
As kids enter the building, they’ll get a bucket and checklist of items to find at the stations, such as seed at the commodities station, an egg from the chicken’s nesting box, paintbrushes from the pig station and a baseball from the beef station. They then trade in their items for a prize at the grocery store.
The 16,000-square-foot facility located south of the Schollander Pavilion provides educational experiences for both children and adults.
“It’s a completely new idea, but we’re really excited about it,” Neshen said.
Families will find free entertainment for all ages at the fair.
Here’s a preview of the scheduled acts:
• Visit the Petro Serve USA Stage at 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 10, for Casselton Library Storytime.
• The Page Area Concert Band will have a performance from 2-3:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 10, and Wednesday, July 11.
• Northwest Martial Arts Academy will have a demonstration at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 11.
• The Kringen Accordion Band will perform on the stage at 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 11.
• A celebrity eating contest will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, July 13.
• A kids rodeo will be held from 4:30-6 p.m. Friday, July 13.
• Performances from Fargo-Moorhead’s Elevate Rock School will be held from 12:30-6:30 p.m. Saturday, July 14.
• The Red River Valley Zoo will have an exhibit from 1-5 p.m. Sunday, July 15.
Special days set aside
Special days have been set aside for fairgoers, including:
• Kids Day sponsored by Family Fare, Tuesday, July 10
• Senior Day sponsored by Essentia Health, Wednesday, July 11
• Military Recognition Day sponsored by West Fargo VFW Post 7564, Thursday, July 12
• Cass County Electric Cooperative Day, Friday, July 13
• 4-H Day, Sunday, July 15
The fair will also have gate specials, including:
• Tuesday, July 10 – Family Fare $15 Fun Pass. For ages 5 and above, gate admission will be $15 which includes an unlimited ride wristband. This is new this year, but it is a great deal for those kids who are unsure about rides.
• Wednesday, July 11 – We Care Wednesday. Bring in three nonperishable items, and receive $10 off a daily ride wristband. This does not include gate admission.
• Thursday, July 12 – Half off on daily ride wristbands; does not include gate admission.
Every year, the Red River Valley Fair features the local talents of those exhibiting food, art or livestock from the Red River Valley, along with 4-H and FFA exhibits. Daily contests are also scheduled for fairgoers. Enter the coloring contest for children and adults, build a LEGO creation or make a race car out of vegetables.
Photography and decorated egg contests are also planned. Even salsa, pasta and pie contests are throughout the week.
Those wishing to enter the competitive exhibits can enter all items online also.
Luann Dart is a freelance writer and editor who lives in the Elgin area.
To learn more:
For details, visit www.redrivervalleyfair.com.