Washington County Fair 2019


Washington County Fair 2019 - A Special Section published by Lillie Suburban Newspapers
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Old and new converge at the 2019 Washington County Fair

The days may be getting shorter as summer passes its halfway point, but there’s a way to end July — and begin August — with a bang.

The Washington County Fair begins Wednesday, July 31 in Stillwater. Between then and Sunday, Aug. 4, fairgoers won’t have a deficit of things to do, see and eat. From daily zoo animals and magic performances to “BINGO!” truck pulls and derbys, there is something suited for just about everyone. 

The county has been hosting the fair for nearly 150 years.

“It’s a tradition,” said Fair Manager Dorie Ostertag. “It’s cool just to keep some things like a county fair around, and to come out and see anything, eat anything, be anything.”

This year, fair organizers are keeping staples like pig races, the carnival and horse shows — but they say they aren’t afraid to step out of the box a little, too. 

“We all try to find things that we haven’t had before,” Special Attractions Director Liz Dietsche said. 

Ostertag agreed, nodding to the fair’s brewery addition this year, “You can only try!”

New bands, a magician, cultural dance groups and a comedy duo are among the list of new attractions.


Craft brewery

At least five new craft beer breweries will join the fair this year in addition to the VFW beer garden staple. Beginning at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 1, of-age visitors can enjoy a variety of drinks.

“We were just looking for something new,” said Dorie Ostertag, fair manager. “Craft brew houses are all over [the place] and they’re kind of a popular thing now. So we thought, well, now would be a good time to maybe get in on the action.”

The new beer options will be in a pavilion area joined by live music throughout the fair.

“We just thought we’d add a little craft beer to it, too, and have a place where people can sit down and enjoy it,” Ostertag said.



A new magician, KarL AchiLLes, will perform at noon every day of the fair.

Husband and wife comedy duo Mixed Nuts is a new addition to the fair this year. They will be performing twice on Thursday.

“Balloonologist” Ms. Jaz-ee will add some balloon-twisting fun throughout the fair.

“I think you’re going to see a fairgrounds that is brimming with just a welcoming feel," said Liz Dietsche, special attractions director. “Our members really took an ownership in making sure it is shiny and ready to go this year, more so than other years.”

Several cultural dance groups will debut performances on Saturday, Aug. 3, beginning at 3 p.m. O’Shea Irish Dancers will kick the shows off, followed by the Twin Cities Swedish Dancers at 3:30 p.m. On Sunday at 3 p.m., Ballet Folklorico Mexico Azteca will perform. 

“This is a place where people can forget the troubles of the day and just come out and enjoy themselves,” Dietsche said.


Car show

The fair will be hosting its first-ever Midwest Mopar Car Show after receiving positive feedback from a previous event at the fairgrounds in June. The car show, weather permitting, will be on the last day of the fair. It is set to begin Sunday, August 4 at 10 a.m.


Yearly classics

Returning this year is the live music that makes any fair complete, but several new bands are being added to the mix. 

“We see what’s popular, what’s good, and what we can afford,” Ostertag said. “Then we give them a shot and see.”

This summer’s band lineup includes Johnny Cash tribute band Sherwin Linton, father-son variety band The ZackaryZ, children’s band The Jolly Pops, Elvis tribute Brad Boice, Heartbreaker Band, rock band The Lid Twisters, barbershop quartet Autumn Serenade, rock band Them Pesky Kids, South Washington County Community Band, and Rockin’ Hollywoods.

“I know those groups are always really excited to be at the fair,” Dietsche said.


With five full days packed to the brim with activities, it can be easy to get caught up in the abundance of the fair’s many layers. But Ostertag reminds fairgoers to remember this: It’s all about having fun.

“That’s the biggest thing: just come out and enjoy,” she said.

The Washington County Fair, located at 12300 N. 40th St., Stillwater, features thousands of exhibits including art, woodworking, goats, cows and horses. Handicap parking is located along McFair Avenue and in the Grand Stand area. 

Credit cards are not accepted at the fair, but an ATM is available. Those who wish to return to the fair for another day must purchase a separate ticket. To learn more or register for an open class entry, visit www.washingtoncountyfair.org. 


Click here for more information on the many Washington County Fair activities!


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