It's the "Critter Convention Rap" and they're talking about the fair.

Yep, it's time for the barnyard critters of Fillmore County to come together with their 4-Hers to hang out in the stalls, pens, cages and corners of the Fillmore County Fairgrounds. Those animals will be on their best behaviors, doing all they can to bring home a purple, blue or red ribbon at the end of the week of July 22 through July 26.

The fairgrounds in Preston are ready for the parade of project pets and pet projects, the midway, grandstand events, booths of all kinds, friends and "neighhh-bors."

Oh, and mini donuts. One can't forget the mini donuts, the pronto pups, the cheese curds and the cotton candy.

Fillmore County Agricultural Society President Greg Dornink stated, "There are supposedly about 300 active 4-H members in Fillmore County, a lot of kids coming to the fair. The fair's a good time to support the 4-H kids, visit with your neighbors and visit past memories."


Monday, July 21, is entry day - 4-H general projects may be brought to the fairgrounds between 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.


Tuesday, July 22, is the beginning of a very busy week of livestock judging and fun activities - for both the 4-H members and general public. All 4-H livestock must be in place at 4 p.m. and registration for the dairy and general livestock judging contest beings at 4:15 p.m. At 5 p.m., the judging starts.

For those who enjoy an evening in the grandstand, it's church night at the fair at 6:30 p.m.


Wednesday, July 23, promises opportunities to enjoy some good family fun during Family Day. The midway armband hours run from 1 to 5 p.m. and there will be several 4-H hands-on activities near the Ambassador Office from 2 to 4 p.m.

The 4-H Night Live Auction starts at 7:30 p.m. in the grandstand and "The Band Hubba" will perform in the beer barn from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.


It's back to the 4-H barns on Thursday, July 24, as the county fair celebrates 4-H Day with a 4-H dairy show, rabbit show and the goat show.

The midway armband hours are from 1 to 5 p.m. and the 4-H hands-on activities return from 2 to 4 p.m.

Pioneer Photography will be sharing schoolhouse memories in the old schoolhouse at 3 p.m. followed by the "Heart of the Farm" photography at 5 p.m.

Additional armband hours will be offered from 6 to 10 p.m.

A fair tradition, the Matt Hahn Memorial Scholarship Arm Wrestling Contest will start, beside the beer tent, at 8 p.m. - with weigh-in at 7 p.m.

There's also bull riding in the grandstand at 7 p.m. and the band, "Tripwire," will be performing in the beer barn at 8:30 p.m.


Friday, July 25, is designated as Kids' Day at the fair. The 4-H judging includes a beef show at 8 a.m. and there's a llama show in the afternoon.

A fair favorite with the "old farmers" is the draft horse pull in the grandstand at 11 a.m.

The Midway armband hours are from 1 to 5 p.m. and again in the evening from 6 to 10 p.m.

The pedal tractor pull begins at 5 p.m.

There will be mutton busting for 7- to 9-year-olds during the Triple B Rodeo at 7 p.m. in the grandstand. The first 15 mutton busters will be chosen from those who signed up in the fair office to ride the wool.

"Troubleshooter" will be rounding out the evening as the band performs in the beer barn at 8 p.m.


Saturday, July 26, features the buyers' breakfast at 8 a.m., the 5K Ribbon Run/Walk at 8:30 a.m., the 4-H market livestock auction at 9 a.m., the 4-H horse fun show at 10 a.m., the open class all-breeds dairy show at noon and the 4-H hands-on activity at 2 p.m.

There will be "Painting 101" in the small arena at 2 p.m. and the "Species Scramble" at 5 p.m.

The ever-popular and "smashing good time" continues at the demolition derby as it gets revved up in the grandstand at 6 p.m.

"Lost Faculties" will be rocking the beer barn that night as well.

General information

Grandstand buttons are available for $20 and offer admission to the grandstand premium events, such as bull riding - which is otherwise $5 per person, the rodeo - which is $10 per person, or the demolition derby, otherwise $10 per person.

Throughout the fair, there'll be a treasure hunt sponsored by KFIL Radio and the Fillmore County Fair Board. Those who track down the right clues can win a birthday party at B&B Bowl, including pizza, pop and a cake. More information is available on KFIL Radio.

Dornink promised a freshly-painted livestock building at this year's fair and that there is going to be "all kinds of activities in 4-H and otherwise, the demolition derby on Saturday," which is a favorite.

He also highlighted the daily educational 4-H activities in the former fish building, saying there will be some kind of program going on almost every afternoon, a band in the beer tent every night, including the Friday night "Troubleshooter" performance.

Dornink also recommended checking out the schoolhouse and barn photography events and for individuals to enjoy a new carnival.

He promises the reliability of a good Fillmore County Fair experience. "We hope there's something for everyone," he concluded.

The 2014 fair officers include Dornink, Fillmore County Agricultural Society Vice President Dennis DeVries, Society secretary-treasurer Kathy Tesmer, University of Minnesota Extension Fillmore County 4-H Program Coordinator LeeAnn Howard, ag extension educator Jerrold Tesmer, support staff member Kristi Ruesink, Fillmore County Board of Commissioners Thomas Kaase of District 1, Randy Dahl, of District 2, Duane Bakke of District 3, and Marc Prestby, of District 5.

Fillmore County district representatives include Kurt Raaen and Aaren Mathison of District 1 - Sumner, Jordan, Chatfield and Spring Valley townships, Kyle Chiglo, Doug Lind and Mike Fenske of District 2 - Arendahl, Holt, Norway and Rushford townships, Kathy Tesmer and Dennis DeVries of District 3 - Bloomfield, Beaver, Forestville, Fillmore and York townships, Jennifer Pickett, Colin Winslow and Greg Dornink of District 4 - comprised of Carrolton, Carimona, Bristol, Fountain, Pilot Mound and Preston townships, Lowell Drinkall, Karl Housker and Devon Krueger of District 5 - Amherst, Canton, Harmony, Newburg and Preble townships, and members-at-large Fred Williams and Andy Craig.

For more information on county fair happenings, call the secretary's office at 507-765-4733.