By Chad Koenen
The smell of fried food, animals and sound of children screaming will be filling the air of Perham this week. After taking a one year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the East Otter Tail County Fair will be held in Perham.
While the highlight of the fair will once again be the rides, animals and grand stand events, organizers are excited about several new events to kick off the 110th annual East Otter Tail County Fair.
One of the first things people will notice when they step onto the East Otter Tail County Fairgrounds will be several new improvements that have been made.
Diane Sazma, of the East Otter Tail County Fair, said the improvements have been in the works for a number of years and will really enhance the entire experience for people who visit one of the region’s most popular summer attractions.
“I think people will see some major improvements to some of our buildings. It’s just been amazing thing on how they have come together,” she said.
The fair will actually begin on Wednesday with a movie in the park beginning at 8:30 p.m. The event will be a kick off and preview to the 110th annual celebration.
“We are celebrating 110 years,” said Sazma. “We are going to be handing out some t-shirts to celebrate 110 years.”
Thursday is Veteran and Daycare Day at the fair. There will be a painted pallet and rooster crowing contest from 8-11 a.m., while a magician will perform at 11:30 a.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., while a hypnotist will perform at 12:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.
The century farm awards will be given at 7 p.m. and the day will come to a close with comedian John Deboer at 7:30 p.m. and the Cropdusters performing from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Thursday will also be the first of two wristband sessions where children and adults can go on all of the rides their stomach can handle. Thursday’s wristband day will be from 6-10 p.m. and the second wristband day will be from 1-5 p.m. on Friday. Sazma said having two wristband days, as opposed to just one on Thursday night, should help to bring more people to the fair and help to get people excited about checking out all of the different activities going on throughout the weekend.
Friday will be senior citizen day and will once again feature a magician at 10 a.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., and a hypnotist at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. There will also be live music, rooster crowing contest and a variety of animal shows throughout the day.
The day will come to a close with the NTPA tractor pull in the grandstand beginning at 7 p.m.
“We have not had that in probably over 10 years,” said Sazma.
Friday will come to a close with the Tailgunners Band from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Saturday’s line up will once again feature a little bit of something for everyone as there will be the 4-H auction at 10 a.m., magician, hypnotist, finals of the rooster crowing contest and the 4-H Olympics.
The day will come to a close with the demo derby at 6 p.m. and the Blue English Band taking the stage from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m.
The fair will come to a close on Sunday with an outdoor church service from 10-11 a.m. and a variety of music getting underway at 12 p.m. The day will also include a state sanctioned kids pedal pull beginning at 12 p.m., which will give way to the antique tractor pull in the grandstand beginning at 1 p.m.
The rides and events will continue until the fair officially comes to a close at 6 p.m. on Sunday.
The carnival will start at 5 p.m. on Thursday, 1 p.m. on Friday. 12 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday. The daily events are open in the children’s barn from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., except for Sunday when it closes at 6 p.m. The exhibit buildings will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., except for Sunday when it closes at 6 p.m.