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The Sunday mud run attracted hundreds of spectators, who got showered in mud.

Hubbard County Fair ends on a noisy note, big crowd

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By Sarah smith

The Hubbard County Fair ended noisily Sunday to record attendance.

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“I didn’t do a head count,” fair board president Burt Hill joked.

But he believes that 15,000 guests came through the gates, well above the normal 12,000.

“Attendance was up,” Hill said. “There were a lot of people I’ve never seen before and we draw from a pretty far away area.”

Hill estimated the monster truck show on Friday night exceeded 2,000.

“Maybe more than that,” he said. “It was standing room only,” he added.

Perfect weather helped. The scorching heat set it just as fair personnel were heading home Sunday night.

The ice cream shack ran out of cones by Saturday.

Candy Parks, who manages that operation, said the noise level was incredible coming from the mud run and monster trucks.

She said if the fair invites all the noisy acts back, they will consider selling ear plugs.

She could tell the parents who’d been there before. They were all toting headphones, she said.

And she said she wished there has been more volunteers to help clean up.

By the time the “five greatest days of summer” were over, the help, all volunteers, were bushed.

Parks said they could have used some additional help at that point.

Walter, 4, and Wesley, 2, Gartner of Park Rapids were among the audience members at the Saturday tractor pull, cheering on their dad and trying their best to be patient during breaks in the action. Surprisingly, it was Wesley who weathered the long afternoon better.

Carol Stachowski adopted a humorous stance to protect fairgoers from a deep indentation outside her min-donuts stand after seeing several lose their footing.

She posted a sign saying, “This hole is called Love. Please don’t fall in Love.” It got people’s attention and minimized the risk, she laughed.

Ed and Ida Maninga of Wolf Lake enjoyed their ice cream cones.

He joked to her that he initially couldn’t find her on the crowded grounds and was searching for another woman to take the cone.

Rep. Dave Hancock trolled the fairgrounds looking for votes.

“I don’t think I’m gonna try that,” he said, pointing to the G-Force ride. “And I’m not gonna try the climbing wall,” he laughed.

A tip for next year’s fair board is to book loud mechanical acts.

And a tip for the audience is to bring ear pellets and sit well back from the mud run or wear old clothes.

Even though the heat kept the mud down, the breakneck speed kept it flying nonetheless.

The midway was crowded Saturday afternoon as kids raced for the last rides. It was “wristband” days with discounted rides on the Midway.

The Ferris wheel was shut down late Friday night due to the time-consuming task of packing it up for its next destination.

But screams came readily from the house of mirrors, the G-Force ride and other topsy-turvy attractions.

“It was fun,” Hill said.

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ssmit

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers Hubbard County, courts and breaking news.

(218) 732-3364
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