Born and raised in Minnesota, I've lived in five different states and been to dozens of county fairs over the years, but none quite get it done like my favorite: the Stearns County Fair in Sauk Centre. Here's your 98.1 insider guide to this week's extravaganza.

98.1 Minnesota's New Country (the Official Station of the 2018 Stearns County Fair) will be at the Fair on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 2 pm to 7 pm. Come and find us -- Pete Hanson will be doing his show live each afternoon.


Gate Admission is Still FREE at The 2018 Stearns County Fair!


2018 Fair Dates & Hours

  • WED 7/25:  10 AM to 10 PM (Midway 3p-10p)
  • THU 7/26:  7 AM to 10 PM (Midway 3p-10p)
  • FRI 7/27:  7 AM to 10 PM (Midway Noon-10p)
  • SAT 7/28:  7 AM to 10 PM (Midway Noon-10p)
  • SUN 7/29:  7 AM to 8:30 PM (Midway Noon-8:30p)

Ever Been to a Demolition Derby? (Five 98.1 Insider Nuggets)

  1. Most drivers use some sort of strategy to win first place, whether it’s ramming into other cars with abandon or lying in wait to preserve their car for as long as they can.
  2. There are rules to the game. For example, it’s usually against the rules to ram into the driver’s door.
  3. You might want to bring a blanket – one that you don’t mind getting dirty. Many people use blankets to shield themselves from the mud that could splash on them as the cars skid by.
  4. There's a Demolition Derby in the grandstand on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Admission to the derby is $10 for adults, and $6 for children 12 and under.
  5. Ned drives like this every day, so be on the lookout when you're in St. Cloud! 

2018 Stearns County Fair Entertainment

Ok, so there's crazy rides, fun games, fair food, and people watching -- but what else do I need to make sure I don't miss? (Like rides, fried cheese curds, and corn dogs aren't enough.)

  • Live music (and lots of it).
  • Karaoke (not to be confused with live music, LOL).
  • An antique tractor parade.
  • 4-H exhibits: These kids work (and play) HARD and sleep for a full week after the fair.
  • A horse show.
  • Ranch rodeo (no bull riding here)!
  • Lego contest.
  • Talent contest.

My 'What Not to Miss' List

  • The carnival rides.
  • Corn dogs with mustard.
  • Ranch Rodeo: I lived in Montana for 20 years and this will amaze & entertain you (WED 7p).
  • Demolition Derbies of course. (I want to drive in 2019.)
  • Rabbit Agility (5p SAT) <-- This will have you laughing hysterically! (This has my personal 5-star rating!!!)
  • Draft horse parade & show (7p SAT).

Thanks to Vern, Shannon, Jackie, and Jodie along with the rest of the Fair Board, County Commissioners, Superintendents, and volunteers for making 2018 another amazing year at the Stearns County Fair!

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