After having to go a year without the Stearns County Fair due to the coronavirus pandemic, we are all thrilled to be able to head to Sauk Centre for the long-awaited 2021 event this week.

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 the 2021 extravaganza.

Gate Admission is Still FREE at The 2021 Stearns County Fair!

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2021 Fair Dates & Hours

  • WED 7/28:  10 AM to 9 PM (Midway 5p-9p)
  • THU 7/29:  8 AM to 9 PM (Midway 3p-9p)
  • FRI 7/30:  9 AM to 10 PM (Midway Noon-10p)
  • SAT 7/31:  9 AM to 9 PM (Midway Noon-9p)
  • SUN 8/1:  11 AM to6 PM (Midway Noon-6p)

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. Kelly drives like this every day, so be on the lookout when you're in St. Cloud! 

2021 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).
  • 4-H exhibits: These kids work (and play) HARD and sleep for a full week after the fair.
  • Draft horse parade.
  • Rooster crowing contest.
  • Midway carnival.
  • BINGO!

My 'What Not to Miss' List

  • The carnival rides.
  • Corn dogs with mustard.
  • Demolition Derbies of course. (I want to drive in 2022.)
  • Rabbit Agility (5p SAT) <-- This will have you laughing hysterically! (This has my personal 5-star rating!!!)
  • Draft horse parade & show (6:30p SAT).

Thanks to Vern, Shannon, Jackie, and Jodie along with the rest of the Fair Board, County Commissioners, Superintendents, and volunteers for making 2021 another amazing year at the Stearns County Fair!

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