Pope County Fair begins Wednesday (July 18)

The 132nd annual Pope County Free Fair is coming on July 18-21 in Glenwood.

Sponsored by the Pope County Agricultural Society, the Pope County Fair is one of the few fairs in Minnesota that offers a free gate and free parking. The fair is a long-standing community tradition that offers competitions, entertainment, family-friendly fun and great fair food.

The four days of Pope County Fair are broken down into these four themes: Hometown Hero Day is Wednesday and culminates with the Birch Coulee Arena ranch rodeo at 6:30 p.m.; Day Care Day is Thursday and will end with the truck and tractor pull at 7 p.m.; Young at Heart Day is Friday and ends with Bulls and Barrells at 7 p.m.; Family and Kids Day is Saturday and it ends with the demolition derby at 6 p.m.

It must be noted how important it is that the public comes out to support and attend the grandstand events at the fair. The income generated from the grandstand events goes towards the costs of operating the fair, including upkeep of the fair's buildings and grounds.

Hometown Hero Day gets free admission to the ranch rodeo for veterans, military, police fire fighters and emergency medical personnel. A flag-folding demonstration will be at 5 p.m. that day with a push-up challenge to follow at 6 p.m. The open jackpot beef show is in the Jack Morris arena at 5:30 p.m.

Day Care day on Thursday brings a long list of events, including day care activities from 9 to 11 a.m. (registration required) as well as Wheels of Wonder near the grandstands during that same time. "Clueless the balloon twister" with face painting as well will be on hand from 3 to 6 p.m. near the Legacy building. Also, an iron will exhibition will be held at 11 a.m. and also 1, 3 and 5 p.m. on the free stage.

Young at Heart day on Friday kicks off with the Linden Hill Band on the free stage at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.; the Pope County Outstanding Senior Citizen program is on the free stage at noon. A potato peeling contest is at 2:30 p.m. on the free stage, and a senior spelling bee on the free stage is at 3 p.m. The Glenwood fire department will hold live kitchen and fire demos and kid activities from 3 to 7 p.m. A special senior citizens' meal is at 11:30 a.m. at the Little Red Barn including BBQs, chips, beans, pickles, cookie and beverage.

Family Day at the Fair on Saturday starts off with a baking contest on the free stage at 11 a.m., and the Minnesota Millenial Farmer Presentation is on the free stage at noon. Kids are encouraged to wear their favorite costume for the Princess Pageant and Superhero showdown at 1 p.m. on the free stage. The Diaper Derby, open to all crawling babies, is at 1:30 p.m. on the free stage. A lego building contest runs from 2 to 4 p.m., and turtle races are at 3:30 p.m. (sign up at 1:30, bring your own turtle or lease one for $2). A veggie racer contest is at 5 p.m. on the free stage, and the Hooligan Fire Show near the industrial building has three shows at 5, 7 and 9 p.m. The Big Stone Pedal Pullers kids tractor pull is at 5:30 p.m.

A new feature of the Pope County Fair is inflatables for children all four days. The inflatables open at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, and on the last three days of the fair, they open at noon. A mega pass is available that covers all four days of the fair for just $30.

Free water testing in the industrial building is on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.; sponsored by the Pope County Soil and Water Conservation District and Pope County Land and Resource Management.

A few other fair notes: Fauskee Oil is one of three feature sponsors of Thursday night's truck and tractor pull; the 30th annual open youth Jackpot sheep show, open to youth ages 5 to 21, is Tuesday, July 17 at 5 p.m. at the fairgrounds; the Glacial Ridge Cattlemen's Association steak fry at the Little Red Barn is at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday of the fair; the fair's canned food drive is Wednesday, where fairgoers can get $1 off a wristband with a donation of one can (one can per person), and proceeds will benefit Pope County's Hearts and Hands Food Shelf; Glacial Ridge Health System is one of three feature sponsors of Wednesday night's Bulls and Barrels grandstand event; a homemade salsa contest is Thursday at 6:30 p.m., folks entering are asked to bring two pints of salsa to the free stage at 5 p.m. to enter, and entries will be judged by crowd favorite.


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