Those planning on attending the Mille Lacs County Fair, slated for Aug. 8-11, are in for new treats this year.
Along with the all-new bull riding event scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 11, to wrap up festivities, fair-goers can expect something new each day of the annual celebration.
Animal Fest, which will take place three times each day Thursday, Friday and Saturday, offers folks a chance to see horses, goats, llamas, mules and more, as well as the opportunity to ride a camel for $6.
Friendly the Clown will be a new, yet perhaps familiar face this year, with Princeton man, Bob Jensen, taking his place behind the white face paint and big, red nose.
“We thought it would be fun to highlight more local people this year,” fair board member Pat Braun said.
Bands hitting the grandstand this year will be off to a little earlier start with Good For Gary taking the stage Thursday night at 7 p.m. rather than the 8 p.m. music kick-off of previous years. Fair organizers decided to move the music entertainment up an hour to give the bands and musicians a little more crowd to please before folks head home for the evening.
“I think they’ll be a really fun, interactive group,” Braun said of the top-40 cover group.
Rather than the traditional races taking the main attraction seat on Friday night, the fair will be welcoming Heartland Truck Pull to the mix this year.
“There’s a fine line between tradition and old,” she said. “So, we’re trying to do more rotations.”
Not everything is fresh, however. The 25th anniversary of the Talent Contest will be served up this year, but with a twist. A new $100 People’s Choice category has been added to the competition this year in observance of its long-standing position at the fair.
“We did up the prizes for that because I think it’s great to have it going on that long,” Braun said.
As well as old favorites, new fare will be offered at the 2013 Mille Lacs County Fair, including RC’s Fun Foods, which features caramel apple sundaes on its menu, and the Sugar Shack, that serves up burgers on glazed donuts rather than buns.
Buttons for this year’s fair are $6 and are good for the entire four days. Children ages 6 and younger are admitted free. Unlike years past, all grandstand events will cost the same. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and youth.
For a complete schedule of the events, pick up one of the many brochures available throughout the county or visit www.millelacscountyfair.com.