It’s open!

Published 9:06 am Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Arlon Fritsche, left, listens as Austin Attig explains his K’Nex crane in the 4-H Building on Monday at the Freeborn County Fairgrounds. Attig said it took him a full day to build the apparatus, and he tweaked it for eight weeks. -- Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune

4-H’ers, carnival workers, vendors ready for 6 Best Days of Summer

The Freeborn County Fairgrounds were buzzing with activity Monday in preparation of the start of the 2010 Freeborn County Fair today.

Whether it was vendors setting up their concession stands, 4-H students entering their projects or Merriam’s Midway workers setting up rides, there was not one part of the fairgrounds that wasn’t busy.

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The fair, nicknamed the Six Best Days of Summer, officially opens at noon today.

“Come on out and have fun,” said Fair Manager Norm Fredin.

Kristen Hahn, center, registers her 4-H projects in the 4-H Building at the Freeborn County Fairgrounds on Monday. Hahn said her favorite project she entered was in the fine arts and crafts category. -- Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune

This year’s fair has several new events planned, including an alligator show, ventriloquist, comedy acts and sheep dog trials, among others.

“There’s something for everybody,” said Gordon Toenges, a member of the fair board.

In addition to the shows, there’s the five nights of entertainment at the grandstand, including Justin Moore on Tuesday, Love & Theft on Wednesday, Jo Dee Messina on Thursday, George Jones on Friday and Hinder on Saturday.

There are also numerous entertainment groups, including The Wendinger Brothers and Jennifer Ordalen, who will perform in Entertainment Square.

Daily live demonstrations of various arts-related activities are slated at the Creative Arts Building. People can view these demonstrations, along with entries, throughout the week for more old-fashioned fun.

“I’m definitely looking forward to the grandstand,” said student Kristen Hahn, who was submitting several 4-H projects on Monday.

Out of all of her projects, Hahn said her favorite was the one she was planning to enter into the fine arts and crafts category.

“We just love the fair,” added Shelley Pederson, who was entering numerous categories with her children in the Floral Hall on Monday.

She said usually she takes up three tables to showcase all the flowers she brings in to be judged, but this year the humidity, heat and storms limited that.

Pederson’s son, Marshall, who is going into seventh grade, was also submitting posters, flowers and horses to be judged.

Shelley Pederson, back right, and her children Marshall and Carma Pederson set up flowers for judging in the Floral Hall at the Freeborn County Fairgrounds on Monday. -- Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune

“It’s fun, it’s exciting and there’s good food,” he said of the fair.

Pederson’s daughter, Carma, who is going into fifth grade, said she loves the rides at the fair and inviting her friends. She, too, was entering multiple projects.

Pederson said she thinks Marshall and Carma gain a sense of citizenship by participating in 4-H at the fair.

The 4-H building was busy with students entering projects.

One of those students was Austin Attig who was entering a K’Nex crane into the geospatial, robotics, computer and aerospace category that was taller than himself.

Attig said it took him a full day to make the project and he tweaked it for eight weeks.

Judge Arlon Fritsche said judges evaluate the project and try to find out what the child has learned to further his life in the process before awarding a ribbon.

To view more projects, stop by the 4-H building.

To view the complete guide to the fair, contact the fair office at 373-6965 or stop by.

General admission is $9 for children 10 and older and adults. Children age 9 or younger get in free.

Events were listed in the Tribune on Friday in a special publication. The fair’s website is

There will be no award given out for a century farm during this year’s fair. No applications were received.

New events at the 2010 Freeborn County Fair:

  • Kachunga and the Alligator Show: The show begins today at 1 and 6 p.m. and goes for at least two times a day for the span of the week.
  • Comedian and ventriloquist James Wedgwood: Wedgwood, who has been described as a “one-man variety show,” will perform at 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday in the Fairlane Building.
  • Tina and Lena: Tina and Lena, a comedy and singing duo based out of Alexandria, will perform at 4 and 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the Fairlane Building.
  • Budweiser Clydesdales: There will be a full hitch up and running by the grandstand before each 8:30 p.m. show throughout the week. Photo sessions are Wednesday through Friday from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Clydesdales tent.
  • Sheep dog trials: The event begins at 10 a.m. Saturday and goes until 3 p.m. at the outdoor arena.
  • Bucket of junk contest: Seven buckets filled with the same identical parts of junk steel have already been given out to various people for this contest. People will take the bucket and use the steel to design whatever they like. They will weld it together and then bring it into the fair. The entries will be displayed the entire week of the fair in the Commercial Building and then will be auctioned off on Saturday along with woodcarvings.
  • Demonstrations: At least two times a day in the Creative Arts Building there will be live demonstrations of various arts-related activities.
    On Tuesday will be the Twilight Treadlers on the spinning wheel at 1 p.m. and Sharon Morreim demonstrating quilting at 3 p.m. At 6:30 p.m., Sugar Chic will demonstrate.
    On Wednesday Kelly Callahan will share his knowledge of antiques at 1 p.m., Robert Fjelbroten will demonstrate rope making at 3 p.m., and Helen Lovik will present hardanger at 6 p.m.
    On Thursday the Twilight Treadlers will demonstrate knitting at 1 p.m., Fountain of Memories will share scrapbooking skills at 3 p.m., and Clarence and Barb Heavener will present music at 6 p.m.
    On Friday, there will be wheat weaving by Mary Ellen Johnson, clay pottery by Eloise Adams at 2 p.m., whistle making by Otto Becker at 3 p.m., and musical instruments by Clarence and Barb Heavener at 6 p.m.