Cottonwood County Fair kicks off today

Summer is starting to wind down with just a couple of weeks until school begins. But summer isn’t sent off without a full slate of fun at the Cottonwood County Fair. The 136th annual fair gets underway today (Wednesday) in Windom and runs through Saturday. 4-H exhibits were entered yesterday (Tuesday), while judging for open class exhibits is scheduled for today. 4-H, FFA and open class livestock shows also will be held. The exhibit and commercial buildings will be abuzz with activity over the next four days. Admission to the fairgrounds is free. There is a charge to park vehicles on site at the fairgrounds.

Featured events

This year, the featured events each evening have free admission.

• Tonight (Wednesday), country recording artists Branch and Dean perform in the Arena, beginning at 7 p.m.

• Thursday, ventriloquist David Malmberg and several of his funny friends will perform in the Arena, starting at 7 p.m.

• Friday, the Ranch Working Rodeo fills the Arena with action, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

• Saturday, the engineroaring, dirt-throwing action of the Midwest Outlaw Truck and Tractor Pullers will fill the outdoor grandstand, beginning at 6 p.m.

• This year’s fair also will feature wine tastings and painting classes, hosted by the Round Lake Vineyard. Those will take place Thursday and Friday in the northeast part of the Arena.

• McDermott Family Fun Show will again provide the midway for the fair, with rides up and running today (Wednesday). Thursday will be a discount night from 5 to 9 p.m., with rides costing one less ticket than normal. And the fair will again have unlimited ride wristband day on Aug. 19, from 1 to 5 p.m. Following wristband day, a drawing will be held, giving away a pair of bikes. That drawing will be held at 5:05 p.m., Saturday, outside the Fair office on the east side of the Arena.

Other activities

• The Household Cat and Kitten Show is always a popular event. Cats from around the county will compete for best-in-show honors tonight (Wednesday), starting at 6:30 p.m., at Oleson Pavilion.

• The Southwest Dog Show will try to find the county’s top dog Saturday, starting at 12:30 p.m., inside the Arena.

• A classic car show will be held Thursday, beginning at 6 p.m., east of the Arena.

• The 4-H Premier Showmanship contest is scheduled for Saturday at 11:30 a.m.

• A scavenger hunt, hosted by the 4-H Ambassadors, will be held Saturday, starting at 1 p.m., at the General Exhibit building.

• A pedal tractor pull is slated for 5:30 p.m., Saturday, east of the Arena.

• A beer garden will be located near the large doors on the east side of the Arena. Karaoke will be held at the beer garden on Friday and Saturday evenings.

• The free entertainment tent, located east of the 4-H Food Stand, will feature a variety of acts throughout the course of the fair. The full schedule will be posted outside the tent.

• The Legion Bingo stand will be open nightly from 6 p.m. to closing, as well as Friday and Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m.