Norman County Fairboard President Talks Life Without Fair

By Mark Askelson markkrjb@loretel.net (6/26/20)

Ada, MN -- Doesn’t this week feel a bit odd? Do you feel like something is missing? Like you should doing be doing something really fun, hanging with friends and eating lots of food. If so, you could have a case of Norman County Fairitis and its caused by missing out on all the usual fair activities like walking through the livestock building, eating cheese curds, and taking a spin on the Ferris wheel. The 125th Norman County Fair was put on hold this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are some opportunities to get at least a taste of the fair tradition. The Norman County Fairgrounds will host a Food Fair today and Saturday and will feature many of your favorite fair vendors, including Top Hawg, Erickson’s Smokehouse, Opdahl’s Mini Doughnuts, Lupe’s Tasty Taco, Greek to Me Cuisine, Hansen Concessions, Wallace Kettle Corn, and Ohana Shaved Ice.

And while there was some preparation for the Food Fair, Norman County Fairboard President Don Merkens says it’s been strange this past week not getting things lined up for a full-on festival like usual.

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The decision to postpone this year’s fair came about a month and half ago and almost all of the other fairs in the state, 87 of the 94, have followed suit. Merkens believes they made the right call to push it back a year.

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One thing that has continued this year at the fairgrounds is the weekly racing at Norman County Raceway. Merkens notes that the track employees and fans have done a great job making adjustments with safety in mind.

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One other aspect of the Norman County Fair will continue in a modified fashion as part of the Food Fair this weekend. The Valley Cruisers Car Club will be hosting a Cruise In at the fairgrounds this Saturday at 1pm, where car lovers can meet up and show off their rides, but without the registration, judging, or awards of a typical car show.

The Norman County Food Fair is today from 11:30 – 7pm and Friday from 11 until 7pm. KRJB will be broadcasting live from the fairgrounds throughout the afternoon and Whitney Pittman will be providing live music tonight from 5-7pm.