The Ultimate List of County Fairs in MN

The Ultimate List of County Fairs in MN

Last updated on November 3rd, 2018

When you ask Minnesotan’s, “What is their favorite fair or festival?” they almost always say the Minnesota State Fair. But did you know you don’t have to wait until then to enjoy all the fun? There are county fairs going on all summer long. As much as I love the MN State Fair, I love getting to the county fairs in MN even more. Their size and location make it so easy to visit and it’s affordable for the whole family.

Why visit the County Fairs over the State Fair?

The County Fairs have many of the same components that the MN State Fair has, like the great food, animals, competitions, and rides. But everything is closer together so you don’t have to walk as far to see everything. The crowds are smaller every day. This makes it especially nice when you have young kids and strollers. You also don’t have to take a day off work to visit a county fair to avoid the horrible weekend crowds that plague the MN State Fair. There are a bunch of other benefits of attending a county fair. 

Entertainment

The county fair has fun events like tractor pulls, pig races and demolition derbies that you won’t see at the State Fair. The Carver County Fair even has a Rock-Paper-Scissors competition. A lot the County Fairs in MN are bringing in some big names in entertainment too. This enables you to get closer to the artists at a fraction of the cost as the State Fair. Depending on the fair, it may be a standing room only concert, lawn chair event or a stadium event. 

Rides

The rides at the county fair are on a much smaller scale. This is great when you have indecisive riders. I also feel that my money stretches a little further on their rides vs those at the State Fair. I’m not sure why.

Food

The big draw to any fair is always the food. It’s why I’ve always given you the rundown before of the latest and grates that the MN State Fair has to offer. But have you checked out the local food scene? The County Fairs have the same mini donuts, cotton candy, and cheese curds too. But they are also bringing in the fancy stuff like gourmet Apple Pies, corn dogs, pork chops, smoked meats, s’mores and so much more.

Giant Corn Dog Eating

Animals

The County Fairs have all the same animals in a condensed down version. While the state fair has a large number of animals, do you really need to see 100 different types of the same animal? In most cases, I’m fine seeing a couple of each type of cows, or chickens, or pigs, or lamas. It’s also a great opportunity to speak with the owners to get more information on the different animals. And remember to always ask before you go up to pet animals. Some may be friendlier than others.

The Killer List of Day Trips you can take today

Competition

Have you ever wanted to compete at a Fair? The County Fairs have a ton of different categories you can enter, similar to the State Fair. But only a fraction of the competition compared to the State Fair making it a perfect opportunity to take home a ribbon. The cost to enter and prize money is often the same. And if you enter a piece in the county fair, there is nothing stopping you from entering it in the State Fair too, hint hint… Check out the County Fairs website to get full details on the rules for each category.

List of County Fairs in MN

JUNE

15-17 HENNEPIN COUNTY FAIR, CORCORAN

20-23 NORMAN COUNTY FAIR, ADA

20-24 WADENA COUNTY FAIR, WADENA

21-23 RED LAKE COUNTY FAIR, OKLEE

28-30 MAHNOMEN COUNTY FAIR, MAHNOMEN

28-1 CASS COUNTY FAIR, PINE RIVER

 


JULY

1-4 CANNON VALLEY FAIR, CANNON FALLS

4-7  AITKIN COUNTY FAIR, AITKIN

11-15 KITTSON COUNTY FAIR, HALLOCK

11-15 POLK COUNTY FAIR, FERTILE

12-15 CASS-PILLAGER COUNTY FAIR, PILLAGER

11-15 BIG STONE COUNTY FAIR, CLINTON

11-15 HUBBARD COUNTY FAIR, PARK RAPIDS

11-15 RAMSEY COUNTY FAIR, MAPLEWOOD

11-15 REDWOOD COUNTY FAIR, REDWOOD FALLS

11-15 SOUTH ST LOUIS COUNTY FAIR, PROCTOR

11-15 WASECA COUNTY FAIR, WASECA

11-15 WINONA COUNTY FAIR, ST CHARLES

12-15 CLAY COUNTY FAIR, BARNESVILLE

12-15 TODD COUNTY FAIR, LONG PRAIRIE

15-20 ROSEAU COUNTY FAIR, ROSEAU

16-22 FILLMORE COUNTY FAIR, PRESTON

17-22 RICE COUNTY FAIR, FARIBAULT

18-21 WABASHA COUNTY FAIR, WABASHA

18-22 DODGE COUNTY FAIR, KASSON

18-22 ISANTI COUNTY FAIR, CAMBRIDGE

18-22 WRIGHT COUNTY FAIR, HOWARD LAKE

19-22 WEST OTTER TAIL COUNTY FAIR, FERGUS FALLS

19-22 CHISAGO COUNTY FAIR, RUSH CITY

19-22 EAST OTTER TAIL COUNTY FAIR, PERHAM

19-22 GRANT COUNTY FAIR, HERMAN

19-22 SHERBURNE COUNTY FAIR, ELK RIVER

19-22 WATONWAN COUNTY FAIR, ST. JAMES

24-29 OLMSTED COUNTY FAIR, ROCHESTER

24-28 JACKSON COUNTY FAIR, JACKSON

24-29 ANOKA COUNTY FAIR, ANOKA

25-28 BECKER COUNTY FAIR, DETROIT LAKES

25-28 FARIBAULT COUNTY FAIR, BLUE EARTH

25-28 ROCK COUNTY FAIR, LUVERNE

25-29 CHIPPEWA COUNTY FAIR, MONTEVIDEO

25-29 KANABEC COUNTY FAIR, MORA

25-29 SCOTT COUNTY FAIR, JORDAN

25-29 STEARNS COUNTY FAIR, SAUK CENTRE

26-29 BLUE EARTH COUNTY FAIR, GARDEN CITY

31-4 CROW WING COUNTY FAIR, BRAINERD

31-5 BENTON COUNTY FAIR, SAUK RAPIDS

31-5 FREEBORN COUNTY FAIR, ALBERT LEA


AUGUST

1-4 PIPESTONE COUNTY FAIR, PIPESTONE

1-5 CLEARWATER COUNTY FAIR, BAGLEY

1-5 PINE COUNTY FAIR, PINE CITY

1-5 SIBLEY COUNTY FAIR, ARLINGTON

1-5 WASHINGTON COUNTY FAIR, LAKE ELMO

2-5 LINCOLN COUNTY FAIR, TYLER

2-5 MEEKER COUNTY FAIR, LITCHFIELD

6-12 DAKOTA COUNTY FAIR, FARMINGTON

7-11 GOODHUE COUNTY FAIR, ZUMBROTA

7-12 MOWER COUNTY FAIR, AUSTIN

7-12 STEVENS COUNTY FAIR, MORRIS

8-10 RENVILLE COUNTY FAIR, BIRD ISLAND

8-11 KANDIYOHI COUNTY FAIR, WILLMAR

8-12 BELTRAMI COUNTY FAIR, BEMIDJI

8-12 BROWN COUNTY FAIR, NEW ULM

8-12 CARVER COUNTY FAIR, WACONIA

8-12 LYON COUNTY FAIR, MARSHALL

8-12 MILLE LACS COUNTY FAIR, PRINCETON

8-12 NICOLLET COUNTY FAIR, ST. PETER

8-12 ST. LOUIS COUNTY FAIR, CHISHOLM

9-11 MORRISON COUNTY FAIR, LITTLE FALLS

10-12 KOOCHICHING COUNTY FAIR, NORTHOME

13-19 MARTIN COUNTY FAIR, FAIRMONT

14-19 STEELE COUNTY FAIR, OWATONNA

15-18 COTTONWOOD COUNTY FAIR, WINDOM

15-18 MURRAY COUNTY FAIR, SLAYTON

15-19 HOUSTON COUNTY FAIR, CALEDONIA

15-19 ITASCA COUNTY FAIR, GRAND RAPIDS

15-19 MCLEOD COUNTY FAIR, HUTCHINSON

16-19 DOUGLAS COUNTY FAIR, ALEXANDRIA

16-19 LAKE COUNTY FAIR, TWO HARBORS

16-19 LE SUEUR COUNTY FAIR, LE CENTER

16-19 WILKIN COUNTY FAIR, BRECKENRIDGE

17-19 CARLTON COUNTY FAIR, BARNUM

23-26 TRAVERSE COUNTY FAIR, WHEATON


SEPTEMBER

6-9 LAC QUI PARLE COUNTY FAIR, MADISON

Have I convinced you yet? I’m already dreaming about the different foods I want to eat. This year alone, I’m hoping to make it to at least two Fairs, including the Hennepin County Fair. If you haven’t already been to a county fair yet, what are you waiting for? Make sure to share this Ultimate List of County Fairs in MN so you can start enjoying some of the fun.

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Does Your MN Summer Bucket List include a stop at a County Fair? If not, it should! They are the prefect fix for the State Fair Lovers. OnlyinMN | Twin Cities | Saint Paul | Minnesota Summer | Fairs and Attractions

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5 Comments

  • Reply Terry Sindelir July 31, 2018 at 8:12 am

    In 2008 my wife and i set out to attend every county fair in the state, its been 11 years now and we have attended 52 0f them so much fun,we rank each one as we go.
    1. steele county
    2.carver county\
    3 .stearns couny

    • Reply Jenn July 31, 2018 at 8:45 am

      Wow Terry, that’s crazy. Doing them in one year may be logistically impossible. Plus you’ll need a break from all the fried foods!

  • Reply Guillermo Narvaez September 8, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    If you were to visit seven or so fairs throughout the state (excluding the Metro, I am trying to cover diverse regions of the state… in 2019 as this season is done), which ones do you recommend? I hear Owatonna is very popular, how about six more?

    • Reply Jenn September 9, 2018 at 8:26 am

      I haven’t been to them all myself but from the one’s I have been to, here are my recomendations.
      1. Sterns County in St. Cloud
      2. Carver County in Wacconnia
      3. Dakota County in Farmington,
      4. Itaska County Fair in Grand Rapids
      5. Brown County Fair in New Ulmn
      6. Washington County Fair in Stillwater
      Have a great time exploring!

  • Reply Guillermo Narvaez September 9, 2018 at 9:13 am

    Thank you for the suggestions. I will try to let you know how it goes.

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