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Sunday at the fair (w/video)

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Even though the weather was iffy on Sunday with the threat of rain, a good-sized crowd walked the midway in the afternoon and lined up for rides at the Douglas County Fair. (Al Edenloff / Echo Press) 2 / 2

The Douglas County Fair wraps up a four-day run Sunday -- a night when heavy rains soaked the midway shortly after 6 p.m.

The fair was still deemed a success by several exhibitors.

"It was a good fair -- a beautiful fair," said Patty Wicken of Alexandria who operates corn dog and lemonade stands, along with her husband, Roy Wicken. "It was great. We have no complaints. We are blessed to have a well-organized, well-run fair. It's the nicest county fair in the state."

The Wickens have seen their fair share of fairs over the years. Patty has been working the booths for 34 years while Roy has been working at the Douglas County Fair for 61 years, starting when he was just 12 years old.

"It's been fair this year," said Roy before the rain fell Sunday night. "Nothing to write home about. We have a lot of foot longs left but the lemonade is selling. We went through 23 cases of lemons."

The Wickens have a long-standing reputation as selling some of the tastiest corn dogs you'd ever find at a fair. One customer, who claimed to have been to every fair in the U.S., told the Wickens that they have the best corn dogs in the world.

Several other vendors rated this year's fair, in terms of business, as about average.

"We had some good crowds on Thursday and Friday, but Saturday was a little slower than normal," said Kayla Chock of Little Falls, owner of the Sweet Sisters Concessions.

This was Chock's fourth or fifth year at the fair and she said it's well organized. "It's a super fair," she said.

Doug Hasz, owner of Doug's Kettle Corn, said this year's fair was about average compared to the last five or six years. "It was a little warm during the day so sales were pretty slow, but it picked up in the evenings," said Hasz, who is in his 20th year of business.

The only negative aspect of the fair that some vendors talked about was the price of bottled water, which some said was set a little high at $2.50 a bottle, esepcially when it was so hot.

Before the heavy rain arrived, a good-sized crowd browsed the midway on Sunday afternoon. There were lines to get on rides and the food booths were busy.

Fair-goers also turned out for special events throughout the day -- Kids Pedal Pull, a Lego Building Contest, Demolition Derby, music by the Magical 70's Sunshine Band, a K-9 demonstration, a first-ever watermelon eating contest and more.

See Wednesday's Echo Press for more fair coverage and a special fair souvenir section in next Friday's paper. 

Al Edenloff

Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  

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