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An Echo Press Editorial: Forget your troubles and go to the Douglas County Fair

By the Echo Press Editorial Board

Fair Calf 8168.jpg
Paisley Olson hugs her calf in the cattle barn at last year's Douglas County Fair in Alexandria.
Alexandria Echo Press file photo
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Douglas County residents are fortunate to have such a vibrant, well-run and just flat-out fun county fair.
The Great-Douglas-County-Get-Together starts today, Wednesday, on another four-day whirlwind filled with events. Anyone who can't find something interesting, fun or delicious at the fair must be on a list of the most hard-to-please, crabby people in the region.
The fair has so many things going on. We put a poll on our website, asking people what was their favorite thing to do — going on rides, eating fair food, checking out the 4-H and FFA exhibits, listening to music, people-watching, and (just for fun because that's what the fair is all about) stopping by the Echo Press booth (in a new location this year on the east end of Calorie Lane).
As of Tuesday afternoon, poll responders picked eating fair food as their fave.
There's much more to the fair than our poll asked, of course. There are family traditions to continue, friendships to renew and new things to experience. That effort to keep offering new things at the fair is one of the secrets to the fair's success.
The Douglas County Fair Board, with input from fair-goers themselves, is always coming up with new ideas to try and new improvements to add. This year, for instance, fair-goers will have the chance to see circus performers, a magician, a boxing demonstration, to name just a few. There are also new food to try — the Glacial Ridge Cattlemen's Association will be serving up steak. Other new foods include Mi Mexico or Morris and Benson, and Happy Lo Foods.
Also new this year is that the fair will offer a "More Bang for your Buck" coupon book with coupons for fair vendors and businesses around the county. Some coupons will be good only for the fair while others are good for a year. The book costs $20 and offers more than $500 worth of saving. The book is on sale at dcmnfair.com., Elden's, The Bowling Barn and Grill in Osakis, Joe's Gas and Deli in Brandon, Hiway Amoco in Evansville and Cenex in Garfield.
Fair organizers are also looking for ways to make the fair as safe as possible. There's a change in parking this year. The only drivers allowed to park in the east parking lot are those with a handicapped tag or those with a Golden Ticket. All others must park at the west gate, where parking is free. The change is expected to improve traffic safety.
The basics: Gates open at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 17 through Saturday, Aug. 20. Admission is $8 in advance online, or $8.50 at the gate. Children 10 and under are free. A season pass runs $25.50 and a Golden Ticket (which includes a season pass and east gate parking) is $50. Special days are Wednesday — Senior Day, Thursday — Kid's Day, and Friday — Military, Law Enforcement, Firefighter and EMS Appreciation Day. Free handicapped parking is available just inside the east gate. Shuttles from the west parking lot leave every 15 minutes during regular fair hours.
Also, we have to give a thumbs-up to a very important group. "Your 2022 fair is brought to you by our many proud fair sponsors," noted Fair Board President Don Kleine. "Please thank them as we do and ask that they continue to support this great annual community event."
If you've never been to the Douglas County Fair before, give it a try. Start making memories.

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By the Echo Press Editorial Board