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124th annual Aitkin County Fair starts Tuesday

AITKIN - It's time to get entries ready and tastebuds set for all that fair food when the 124th annual Aitkin County Fair comes to town Tuesday through July 12.

Mega wristbands and advance sale tickets for the carnival, presented by Crescent City Amusements, will be on sale soon. Wristbands may be used for rides anytime the carnival is open and are available for advance sale of $40, or on-site for $50. Single day sessions bands are $20 advance, $25 on-site.

An added value only by advance sale is a 20-ticket package for $25 with one ride per ticket. All advance tickets and mega bands can be purchased at banks in Aitkin and McGregor, Paulbeck's County Market and the Aitkin County Auditor's Office.

The carnival on the midway opens at 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 10 and July 11, and noon July 12, featuring rides, shows and concessions.

Entry day is Tuesday for all non-livestock exhibits. The Home Activities Building will open at 8 a.m. for open class entries, closing at 5 p.m. 4-H exhibits are judged from 1-5 p.m. Kids should get their entries in for the color exhibit and receive prizes. Interested persons may check out the special Capitol Christmas tree ornament contest and have your talent displayed in Washington, D.C.

On Wednesday all livestock entries will be registered with 4-H horses to be in place by 8 a.m.; 4-H livestock by noon and all open class livestock in place by 5 p.m.

Farm Olympics are on Wednesday at 5 p.m. in the livestock arena. Participants are urged to pull together a team of at least five people and sign up at the cattle barn.

Homemade wine and beer entries will be judged by a panel of three at 6 p.m. in the Home Activities Building.

The Chmielewski Funtime Band will perform from 5-8 p.m. in the Watters Pavilion.

July 10 is Family Day with entertainment in the Watters Pavilion on the midway; demonstrations in the Home Activities Building throughout the day.

Internationally acclaimed caricature artist, Kira Kayli, will exhibit her skills starting at 2 p.m. She draws at conventions, fairs and festivals throughout the U.S.

A Fun and Game Horse Show begins at 4 p.m. in the horse arena.

Squeak the clown will perform roaming shows at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. with the stage show at 5 p.m. Squeak has talent in unicycle riding, juggling, knife throwing, fire tricks, illusion and ballooning.

The Kids' Tractor Pull will be on the midway concourse starting at 6 p.m.

Those who like Gospel, country or novelty music won't want to miss the Overtones as they take the stage at 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The rock and alternative band, Finding Blakesley, will perform from 8:30-11 p.m. in the Watters Pavilion. Band members are local students from Aitkin High School. It's their fourth year performing.

An introduction to team roping clinic led by locals, Keith Larson and Scott Kellerman, is offered for ages 10-18 starting at 9 a.m. July 11. Learn the basic rope handling skills and the basics of team and calf roping. No horse needed. Ropes will be provided. Sign up to participate or just stop by and watch.

Enjoy a scavenger hunt sponsored by Aitkin County Farm Bureau beginning at 3 p.m. July 11 in the Ag Education Center.

The 4-H Blue Ribbon Auction is 5:30 p.m. in the livestock arena. The evening of July 11 will feature Pure Stock Car Races with V8 engines, Hornets and Legend cars in the grandstand. Hot laps start at 6:15 p.m. with racing at 7 p.m.

The fair will continue July 12 with the Central Minnesota Cattlemen's Association Riverboat/ 4-H/ FFA Beef Show starting at 10 a.m.

The Classic Tractor Parade will be back this year starting at 3 p.m.

Exhibits will be released at 5 p.m. with the midway remaining open for the evening. The grandstand will feature Baja Races starting at 6 p.m.

There are many categories for people to enter to show off their talents. Exhibitor guides are available at the Aitkin Independent Age, the county auditor's office, area banks and businesses and on-ine at