It's the start of fair season in Minnesota! All of the county fairs across southeast Minnesota are coming up quickly, and one of them even starts this week.

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I remember going to my local county fair every once in a while as a kid and sometimes we'd go to the Minnesota State Fair. But I mainly grew up going to the Iowa State Fair with my grandparents every year.

Eventually, I joined 4-H and I was at the county fair CONSTANTLY for that. To this day, I still love fairs. My biggest love is obviously the Minnesota State Fair but county fairs are fantastic too. I think I really learned the value of county fair by being in 4-H myself.

Freeborn County Fair 2021 Canceled
Photo by Andre Ouellet via Unsplash

Southeast Minnesota County Fairs for 2024

Our first county fair for southeast Minnesota kicks off this week! Let's take a look at when each fair is taking place and some fun events to add to your calendar.

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Winona County Fair - July 10-14

The King and Queen of the Winona County Fair are crowned at the Grandstand on Thursday, July 11th at 2 PM. Local Winona band, the Gate City Jazz Band, performs Friday, July 12th at 7 PM in the Entertainment Tent. And on Saturday, July 13th at 1:30 PM there's a Charcuterie Board Contest at the Entertainment Tent.

Fillmore County Fair - July 15-21

Free bounce houses will be available the Wednesday - Saturday of the fair, noon - 9 PM. Dueling Pianos performs on Wednesday, July 17th at 5 PM. And you can try out Knocker Ball on the Thursday - Saturday of the fair, noon - 8 PM.

Dodge County Fair - July 17-21

The Dodge County Fair is free and to kick off the fair on the 17th they've got bull riding and fireworks afterwards at the Grandstand. The kids can try their luck at a rubber duck race on Thursday, July 18th at noon. And you can try your luck at the hotdish and pie baking competitions on Sunday, July 21st at 10 AM.

Rice County Fair - July 17-21

There's lots to see at the Rice County Fair but some of the events include a Texas Hold'em Tournament on Friday, July 19th at 1:30 PM at the Beer Garden. On Saturday, July 20th at 1 PM there's a talent show. And to wrap it all up, on Sunday, July 21st at 4 PM is the 4-H Parade.

Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Photo by Gordy Kosfeld

Wabasha County Fair - July 17-20

On Wednesday, July 17th there's a demo from Oxbow Park from 5-7 PM. On Friday, July 19th is the animal costume contest at 5 PM. And also on Friday is the Wabasha County talent show at 7 PM.

Olmsted County Fair - July 22-28

At the Olmsted County Fair the performances are all included in the price of admission. Some of the shows you could see for free include Hair of the Dog on Tuesday, July 23rd at 8 PM, Clay Fulton and the Lost 40 on Wednesday, July 24th at 8 PM, and County Line Drive on Friday, July 26th at 8 PM.

Credit: James Rabe
Credit: James Rabe

Freeborn County Fair - July 30-August 4

The Antique Tractor Show can be seen throughout the fair. On the Sunday of the fair is the county's talent show at 1 PM. And live entertainment will take place every night through the 3rd, including Hairball performing on Friday, August 2nd at 8:30 PM.

Goodhue County Fair - August 6-10

The Circus Science Spectacular, which I think the kids will love, has shows throughout the Goodhue County Fair. Also, at the Grandstand, there will be Autocross shows, bull riding, demolition derby, and tractor pull throughout the fair.

Mower County Fair - August 6-11

The Mower County Fair is free to enter! But if you want to check out Grandstand events like the demo derby or tractor pull that'll cost a little extra. Also going on during the fair, the Jurassic Kingdom Dinosaur Show will be going on multiple times during the fair. Also, the kids get their own tractor pull on August 11th at 2 PM.

Steele County Fair - August 13-18

The Steele County Fair is free to enter (grandstand shows cost extra) and is also the biggest county fair in the state! So of course there's plenty to see. The Jurassic Kingdom Dinosaur Show will be going on multiple times throughout the fair. There's also a stunt dog show that will happen throughout. They also have great musical acts, like Chris Janson, who will perform on Friday, August 16th at 7 PM.

Senior Day

Houston County Fair - August 14-18

On top of the great 4-H exhibits and shows, you can also check out the talent contest on Wednesday, August 14th at 6:30 PM. There's also a Chocolate Chip Cookie Contest on Friday, August 16th at 10 AM and a Lego Contest on Saturday, August 17th at 11:30 PM.

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