Stutsman County Fair offers family funThe 112th annual Stutsman County Fair will be from July 8–11 at the Stutsman County Fairgrounds, located by the southwest side of the Jamestown Reservoir. Gate admission at the fair is $4 for 13 and older; $1 for children ages 7-12, and children 6 and under get in free. A four day pass is $10.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
The 112th annual Stutsman County Fair will be from July 8–11 at the Stutsman County Fairgrounds, located by the southwest side of the Jamestown Reservoir.
Gate admission at the fair is $4 for 13 and older; $1 for children ages 7-12, and children 6 and under get in free. A four day pass is $10.
The fair is open at 9 a.m. Wednesday, 8 a.m. Thursday, 8:30 a.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Saturda. It will close at 1 a.m. all days.
The Stutsman County Fair is the largest county fair in North Dakota and draws an average attendance of 30,000 throughout the course of the fair, said Al Lindberg, Stutsman County Fair Board president.
While the fairs in Fargo and Grand Forks are larger regional fairs they are not billed as county fairs, Lindberg said.
“The nostalgia of a small-town county fair lives on in Jamestown,” he said.
For Lindberg that will include, food, music and friends, he said.
This year 15 different food vendors will sell everything from Italian sausages to walking tacos, he said.
“Food tastes different and better when you are at the carnival,” said Jim Exner, Stutsman County Fair Board director.
This will be the sixth year in a row the Mighty Thomas Carnival will be at the fair and it will bring 25 rides and a midway full of games, Exner said.
“There’s plenty of games of chance for those that favor that,” he said.
A limited supply of Mega Ride Passes, good for four days of free rides are available for $42 at Stop-n-Go gas stations and Neighborhood Grocery. Single day wristbands are also available for $20.
In between eating food and playing games at the fair, fair goers can visit the music stage and see any of the four bands that will be playing for free, Lindberg said.
The first band playing, 32 Below, will be at 8:45 p.m. on July 8.
Lindberg called them a rock band that’s plays covers from the ’90s as well as current hits. He also said the fair probably couldn’t have booked them if they hadn’t last fall because of their increase in popularity.
The Johnny Holm Band, performing at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, has been a Stutsman County Fair fixture for more than 20 years, he said. The band appeals to all ages and will play anything from ’60s music to rap to polka, Lindberg said.
At 8 p.m. Friday, The Roosters and their style of old and new country music will take to the stage, Lindberg said. And at 8:45 p.m. on Saturday the group Rewind from the Twin Cities will showcase modern rock with two female singers, he said.
“They’re really going to bring the house down,” Lindberg said.
Fair goers can either sip a few cold ones in the beer garden and watch the music, or watch it a separate area, he said.
Aside from the music acts, other events at the Stutsman County Fair are also expected to draw viewers, Exner said.
The Don Wilhelm Stock Car Classic stock race at 6 p.m. Saturday and the James River Rodeo Inc. performance at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday will offer fair goers other entertainment options, he said.
Stock car racing is the largest spectator sport in Jamestown, Exner said. The James River Rodeo is the recent recipient of the Governor’s Travel and Tourism Event of the Year Award.
Even though both of those events cost extra for fair goers to attend Exner said they both bring something else to the table.
Another feature at the fair will be the hundreds of 4-H displays.
This year there are 1,848 static displays, displays that have nothing to do with livestock, in nine categories, said Deb Hatlewick, Stutsman County 4-H coordinator.
Those displays will cover everything from gardening to sewing, she said.
There will also be 104 livestock entries in seven categories, ranging from rabbits to horses at the fair, Hatlewick said.
There are 300 children in 4-H in Stutsman County, she said.
“The kids do a lot of hard work. Going up and seeing what they do is a way of showing your appreciation,” Hatlewick said.
Whether you enjoy cheese curds, or country music, the Stutsman County Fair has something for everyone, Exner said.
“(People) want good wholesome entertainment, and the Stutsman County Fair gives them that entertainment,” he said.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455
or by e-mail at email@example.com