It’s back! The Washington County Fair returns for its 142nd year

Riders show off their skills in the horse show at the Washington County Fair. (Linda Baumeister/Review)

Though August may be the last full month of summer, the warm-weather fun isn’t over yet.

The Washington County Fair will return for its 142nd year July 31 - Aug. 4, with plenty of mouthwatering fair treats, family fun, musical entertainment, cute farm animals and more. This year’s fair will offer many new attractions in addition to the scores of traditional favorite activities.

The fair attracts more than 50,000 visitors each year, said Fair Manager Dorie Ostertag, and she and the fair board are crossing their fingers for sunshine.

“Hopefully the weather is good and we’ll have good turnout,” she noted.

One noteworthy addition to the fair this year will be the updates to the park pavilion, which was revamped thanks to some grant funding. New flooring and a new ceiling were installed, Ostertag explained, so the sound from the pavilion will project better than ever for the many festivities held inside.

“It’s a well-used area that we’re able to finally get updated,” Ostertag said.

The 2013 Washington County Fair will be held at the Washington County Fairgrounds, located at 12300 North 40th St. in Lake Elmo. The fair gates open at 7 a.m. each day, with free parking available. Daily admission to the fair is $7 for ages 16 and over, $4 for children ages 6-15, and free for ages 5 and under.

Those who’d like to get an early start can purchase season pass tickets for gate admission into the fair. Those tickets, $18 for adults, $6 for children ages 6-15 and free for ages 5 and under, will be sold at the Fair Office, located in Building “B” from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. July 29 and 30. Only daily admission tickets will be sold at the gate once the fair opens.

Also July 29 and 30 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. and July 31 between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Fair Office, purchase advance carnival ride discount tickets; get five rides for just $10.

Exhibit buildings will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Visit for more information.

Wednesday, July 31 - Opening Day

Kick off day one of the Washington County Fair early — with the 4-H Horse show starting at 8:30 a.m.

Be sure to visit the food stands for a tasty corn dog or other fair-food favorites, as well as some new-to-the-fair treats including a “Craveman deep-fried grilled cheese,” homemade handscooped ice cream, or a mini Dutch cake.

Ostertag adds that there will be several new merchandise vendors at the fair as well -- with everything from rugs to artwork, jewelry and more.

Other popular attractions on Wednesday include Ms. Jaz-ee the Balloonologist, carnival rides, Swinetime pig races, the Washington County K-9 Unit, and the log rolling and log boom competition.

New to the fair this ear will be the Theatre of Fools clown show at noon, The Fairlanes —DooWop A Capella show at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m., and the Little Thunderbirds drum and dance troop at 3 p.m.

Don’t miss the opening-day parade at 6 p.m., and then later the Washington County 4-H Arts-In Show, a pick-up see-saw contest, the Wax Tones on the main stage, a savings bond drawing and pre-teen division talent show.

Thursday, Aug. 1 - Family Fun Day

Day two of the fair will offer fun for the whole family, with Family Fun Day activities from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Bazillions, musical family entertainment, will perform from 10 a.m. to 10:45, then again from 1:45 to 2:30, and the ECFE District 834 Family Fun Day festivities will be held from 10:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.

Check out the butterfly and pollinator gardens in the lovely Fairest Gardens, open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“Animal Talks from Down Under” are sure to make the kids giggle from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with favorites such as Ms. Jaz-ee, carnival rides, the Washington County K-9 Unit and Swinetime Pig Races also returning.

Check out another much-loved show — the Lumberjack Show — at 1, 4 and 7 p.m., with the Lumberjack Sports Camp at 4:30 p.m. The Washington County Mounted Patrol Demo at 1 and 6 p.m. will also be fun for all ages.

Don’t miss Sneaky Pete’s Garden Tractor Pull at 6:30 p.m., and the Western Wisconsin Truck Pullers (admission charged) at 7 p.m. in the demo area.

Crankshaft will perform at 4:30 p.m., the Washington County 4-H Arts-In Show will be held at 6 and 7 p.m., and the Windy Ridge Equestrian Drill Team and JET’s Exhibition will be held at 7 p.m.

Teens won’t feel left out on Thursday either -- with the teen division talent show starting at 8 p.m. and the Dance and Entertainment teen night at 8:30 p.m. 

Friday, Aug. 2 - Senior Citizen’s Day

On Friday, seniors 65 and over will enjoy free admission to the fair until 1 p.m.

Many of the previous day’s activities will return on Friday, in addition to arts and crafts demonstrations from 10 a.m. to close, Alfy’s World of Robotic Puppets, and some new shows at the park pavilion or main stage. Choo Choo Bob & The Holy Smokestacks Revue will perform at 2 and 4 p.m., and the Elvis Tribute Show will be held at 8 p.m.

Also Friday, don’t miss Rice Bullriding (admission charged) at 7 p.m. in the demo area. These ferocious bulls won’t disappoint!

Saturday, Aug. 3 - Fire Safety Day

In celebration of Fire Safety Day, fire department demonstrations will be offered from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on day four of the fair.

Hop on a few more carnival rides or see some of the fair’s many animal attractions, including the Open Class Dairy Show at noon, the Cloverbud 4-H pet show at 12:30 p.m., goat performance classes at 1 p.m., and the 4-H pet and cat show at 2:30 p.m.

Tap your toes to the Green Fire Irish Dancers, making their Washington County Fair debut at 3 p.m., then stick around for the 4-H live auction at 5:30 p.m.

The popular Demolition Derby will return to the fair yet again, at 6 p.m. in the demo area (admission charged.)

If your ears are begging for some more tunes, the South Washington Community Band will perform at 7 p.m., and the famous Rockin’ Hollywoods will be up at 8:30 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 4 - All American Day

Though the fair will wrap up Sunday, don’t let that damper your mood.

A llama exhibition will run from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., in addition to an English-style horse show at 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Other fun Sunday attractions include the Washington County Fair Tractor Pull at noon, the 4-H Premier Showmanship Contest at 12:30 p.m., a pie-eating contest at 12:30 p.m., and America’s favorite pastime -- a Vintage Baseball Game featuring 1800s baseball — at 1 p.m.

New to the fair this year will be the Dirty Shorts Brass Band, performing at 3 p.m., and Michael Perry’s Clodhopper Monologues at 3:30 p.m.

Sunday will be your last chance to hop on some carnival rides, with unlimited rides for $22 offered from 5 to 9 p.m. (sale ends at 8 p.m.)

And though Sunday is the final day of the fair, it won’t be long until next year rolls around and the 143rd Washington County Fair returns.

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