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To get ready for the St. Croix County Fair starting on Wednesday, volunteers were on hand at the fair grounds July 13th to move benches, paint, clean and prep the fair grounds for the start of the fair. Pictured are Bob and Ellis Frank loading their trailer with benches to be placed at the Croix Court tent.

St. Croix County Fair kicks off

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The St. Croix County Fair officially kicked off Wednesday in Glenwood City, but don't fret it runs through the weekend and is chock-full of activities.

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Besides viewing the exhibits, tractor-pull, mud races and the many other events that occur at the fair year after year, there are many new things to see this time around.

Perhaps the most noticeable change to the fairgrounds is the new dairy barn, which was completed this spring and was the reason this year's fair theme is "Party in the Barn." Work on the dairy barn began last fall and the finishing touches were completed July 8, just in time for the fair.

The barn was scheduled to be inaugurated when the ribbon was cut Wednesday at 8 p.m., officially opening the barn up for the fair and the many other events that occur at the fairgrounds for decades to come.

Another addition to the fair this year is donkey races. Ten teams of five donkeys will race around the horse track. Christie Salmon, coordinator of the event, said she is still looking for more teams. The registration fee is $50 per team or $10 per person and is only eligible for those older than 16 and weighing less than 225 pounds.

Another new attraction is an impressive repile display. Monty Krizan and Brian Tiegen are bringing Monty's Traveling Reptile Show to this year's fair as a fundraiser for the Renovations for the Generations Capital fund drive.

The show, a collection of exotic and native reptiles ranging from 300-pound Albert to a 240-pound python, is housed in a specially constructed 40-foot reptile trailer and will be open to the public for the entire run of the fair, July 20-24. Other highlights are 10 varieties of rattlesnakes, a Gila monster, a Mexican bearded lizard and a 170-pound alligator snapping turtle.

The fair board partnered with a new ride company, Earl's Rides Inc., and they will be bringing in at least 12 rides and various food items. Some of the fair food will include: funnel cake, popcorn, mini donuts, corn dogs and hot dogs. Although the fair officially starts Wednesday, the rides and food brought in by Earl's Rides Inc. will be open Thursday. From Thursday to Sunday there will be deals on ride tickets, said a spokesperson with Earl's Rides Inc. On Friday from 6 to 10 p.m. a wristband for unlimited rides is $16, Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. a wristband is $12 and Sunday 10 tickets will be sold for $10, with every ride costing one ticket.

A complete fair guide schedule can be obtained at the newly revamped website http://www.stcroixcofair.com/

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