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Fairgrounds are rebuilt in time for Wadena County Fair next week

Evan Lachowitzer, a lineman with the City of Wadena's Electric and Water Department, works on the electrical system Tuesday at the Wadena County Fairgrounds.

Following a feverishly paced construction schedule, most of the buildings on the Wadena County Fairgrounds that the 2010 tornado destroyed will be rebuilt in time for the county fair next week.

Wadena County Ag Society President Mike Olson said about half a dozen buildings are completely new for this year, including a beer garden, commercial building, band shell and sheriff’s building. Much of the work for the commercial building and grandstand-- the two most difficult buildings to build because of the cinder blocks used to construct them-- was completed in the span of about a month, Olson said.

“It’s been a lot of work,” he said.

Both Olson and Ag Society Vice President Bryon Lalum said the frequent rain the area has received so far this year posed a challenge to the construction workers.

“All the rain we’ve had really put a crimp on construction,” he said. “The guys doing the grandstand have been out there a lot in the rain.”

The grounds have been torn up and relayered just to improve drainage, Lalum said.

Olson said the building he’s most excited about is the new grandstand. Modeled after the grandstand in Perham, the fact that it’s composed mostly of concrete will make the building maintenance free, Olson said.

The only building left to put up after the fair is the 75 by 100 foot open-air show area, Olson said. All construction needs to be completed by the end of this year to satisfy FEMA grant requirements, he said. Olson gave special thanks to the Wadena County Commissioners, volunteers and construction workers for their support of the fair.

Wadena County Fair is where the fun will be June 26-30

Events for the Wadena County Fair will kick off Wednesday, June 26 as 4-H judging begins. See the fair booklet for more 4H information. From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., the fair’s midway will be open for a sneak preview of the rides and carnival.

On Thursday at 7 p.m. on the bandshell stage, the Wadena Madhatters theater group will perform. From 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., DJ Bryon Lalum will take the stage.

Friday’s main events include a performance in the bandshell by Los Diamantes, a six piece Mexican band. They’re on from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. At 7 p.m. by the grandstand will be the National Tractor Pull Association’s “Clash of the Titans”, presented by Titan Machinery.

Finally, live band Pop Rocks will perform on the bandshell stage from 9 p.m. to closing.

Saturday will see a Pet Parade organized by the Wadena County Humane Society starting at 11:30 a.m. in the horse barn area. From 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. is the Kids Tractor Pul by the fair office. There is also a apple pie contest at 2 p.m. in the Home and Hobbies Building. A 6 p.m. the Grand River Rodeo company will put on a rodeo, and at 9 DJ Lalum will return to the bandshell stage.

Ongoing events during the fair include a beer garden hosted by the VFW in the brand new two-story beer garden building. Beer garden hours are 6 p.m. to closing on Wednesday; and 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. All exhibit buildings are open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Carnival rides will be available on the midway from 1 p.m. to closing time; Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Terry Goedel, a native American hoop dance presenter, will perform at the bandshell from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. At the same time Kathy Connell, owner of Redfern Gardens, will put on three gardening classes in the shelter near the fair office. A dunk tank will be operational from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday. The Wadena Soil and Water Conservation district will offer a free nitrate testing clinic from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. -- samples should be half a cup of cool water contained either in a sealed baggie or sterile jar.

Zach Kayser, Wadena Pioneer Journal

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