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Elements conspire against fair

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news Red Wing, 55066
Red Wing Minnesota 2760 North Service Drive / P.O. Box 15 55066

ZUMBROTA -- It seemed that with every day at the Goodhue County Fair this year, came another roadblock to the festivities.

Rain showers sent fairgoers running for cover Tuesday and Wednesday. Blistering hot temperatures kept many people home Thursday. On Friday, severe thunderstorms from the night before led to a muddy mess at the grandstand, causing the cancellation of the ATV and truck pulls.

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And then there was the literal road block: the construction on the Highway 52 bridge over the Zumbro River, sending motorists from Zumbrota miles around to get to the fairgrounds on the east side of the river.

But Fair Board President Jim Foss says these things happen -- and it's best to bite the bullet when they do.

"We can work through it," he said.

Attendance has been sporadic at best at this year's fair, according to Foss. Heat, rain, mud and detours don't exactly mix well when it comes to attracting large crowds.

For those who did come out for the fair, the show went on as always, with a few additions, Foss said. A new carnival company brought a Ferris wheel and a "zipper" ride to the mix this year. "Hillbilly Bob," a new face at the fair, drove his vintage 1929 Model A Ford down the midway every hour.

As always, 4-H'ers made their way to the fairgrounds, showing everything from beef cattle to photography. Cattle, goat and pig showings actually saw an increase this year, according to Foss.

"The barns are full," he said. "We had a tent put up for all the overflow."

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