County and State Fair Memories and Ticket Giveaway

Our family creates a lot of memories at county and state fairs. Read how we created memories this year at our county fair. At the end of the post I share how your family can win a set of four Minnesota State Fair tickets and 4 Midwest Dairy malt stand coupons. That way you can make your own fair memories. 

This past week we participated in our local county fair, Dakota County Fair. If you know our address you will be correct to say “Wait! You don’t live in Dakota county!” And you would be right; we don’t. We live in Scott county. We live a stone’s throw away from the county line. Twenty years ago when Jon and Lisa first signed up Tim for 4H, they decided to sign him up in a Dakota County 4H club, because it was closer. The rest is history (and a good one).

The Dakota County fair has always been a place full of great memories for us. (I met Tim in the Poultry barn at the Dakota County fair fourteen years ago. Awe young love). We are excited that our children are also creating memories there as well.

Dakota County fair 2013 via

This year both Erik and Jonnie worked with their fair calves all summer long. Showing calves (or any animal at the fair) isn’t all about winning. The learning starts several months before the fair. The kids learn how to choose a calf, work with it, care for it, and more. In pervious years, either Tim, Samantha, or I, have shown the calf with the boys. This year, I felt Erik was big enough to show a calf by himself. To show by themselves, I feel the child must not be frightened of the animal and know what to do when the animal is spooked. We chose a small spring calf for Erik (fully knowing that he would not place well in his class, but that wasn’t the point).

Erik with Calf via

 Erik took the challenge. He has been having a lot of attention and defiance issues lately, but no matter how bad his day was, as soon has he was working with his calf, he was confident and focused. He worked really, really hard.

On show day, Erik walked his calf into the ring with confidence and knew all the answers to the questions that the judge asked him.

Dakota County Fair 2013 via zweberfarms.comErik got 10th in his class, but that was enough to earn him a little bit of money ($5) to put towards that Lego set he has been eyeing. But it is more than winning, he was so proud of how well he did. Erik needs all the confidence boosters he can get right now. The whole day just put a smile on everyone’s faces.

Jonnie did well too, though he still had a helper in the ring. Since Jonnie decided to show a Brown Swiss (and we are the only family that brings Brown Swiss), he got a bigger ribbon.

Dakota County Fair 2013 via

The best part was after the show was all done, Jonnie decided that he wanted to walk his calf all by himself. So later that day, I walked Chase (the calf) over to the show ring and let Jonnie walk her.

Dakota County Fair 2013 via zweberfarms.comHe did really well! And had a lot of fun. I think watching big brother boosted his confidence.

As I am typing this and reflecting on the memories we created at the fair, I cannot help but smile. My kids are growing up so fast, but that is okay. They are living life fully.

This week, I am going to be reflecting on my county and state fair memories and also highlighting some of the great things you can participate in at the Minnesota State Fair. To celebrate, Midwest Dairy, is giving me a set of four Minnesota State Fair tickets and four Midwest Dairy malt stand coupons to give away to one of my lucky readers.

Here is how you can win:

  • Post a comment here describing your favorite county or state fair memory. Or talk about a memory you would like to create. 
  • Post before 10pm CT Thursday,  August 15.
  • I use “And the Winner Is” Plugin on this website to randomly choose a winner. I will announce the winner on this page and our theZweber Farms Facebook page.
  • The winner will be contacted by both myself and Midwest Dairy via email.

Dakota County Fair 2013 via zweberfarms.comYou can never have too many memories! What are your favorite fair memories? Share below and maybe your family will be creating more Minnesota State Fair memories this year.


45 thoughts on “County and State Fair Memories and Ticket Giveaway

  1. Laura Glass

    I love this post! I am bringing my kids to the state fair for the first time this year and I am excited to see their faces as we go through all of the buildings and try everything on a stick. 🙂

      1. Jaime Smith

        My fondest memory of the fair is from when I was 14 years old. I had spent a couple of summers on my uncle’s farm helping with chores. I loved those summers of getting up early to do chores in the barn, ride horses for a hour, use the afternoon to pick rock, help with haying, or pulling weeds, and then it was time to do chores again. But the best summer came when I was 14 year! My cousin was active in FFA and taking some cattle to the fair. Everyone thought it would be fun and cute if her little cousin from the city brought a cow to the fair too. I picked my girl out of a large pen of heifers, and she was a bigger one. What ended up being even more entertaining was watching the city slicker cousin prepare this heifer for the fair. I didn’t exactly work with my heifer the way my cousin and her friends did. I took my heifer for long walks, brushed her everyday, bathed her and gave it cheerios for treats.

        I was so excited for the fair I thought of doing a drawing to enter in to open class, and I did it. I had never taken a single art class but something was exciting about the challenge to do a crayon drawing.

        The end of summer was dwindling away to the days of fair and it was time. It was such a buzz of excitement, friendships, sportsmanship. An entire summer zipped into a moment in ring and a picture on display. I can’t say the best part was getting a first place blue ribbon with my heifer and a third place ribbon for my crayon drawing, but those ribbons symbolize a great character building experience for me.

        I love taking my kids to the fair each and every year and waiting for six special words from them. That moment when the feel something well up inside themselves and say “I want to try that too”.

  2. Kari Hagman

    My fondest memories of the County Fair bring my Grandparents back to me in my heart as if it were yesterday! My favorite tradition that we’ve continued with our 4 children is going with their Grandparents to the County and State Fairs as well. I love the small moments they have and special memories they make each year!

  3. Liz Lorenzsonn

    My favorite memory of the fair is taking my step son when he was 2 years old, and having him meet a cow face to face! She was a beautiful BIG girl, with long eye lashes, and he was in love. Until- she said MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO right in his face! Poor little guy got spooked, but after lots of snuggles, and many reassuring words about cows only eating grass, he went to go see the calves with me. Much more his speed and his size! I’d love to take my step son, who is now 7, and my 4 year old son again this year, I think they’re both prepared to handle all the moo-ing 🙂

  4. Carol Abrahamzon

    Since our wedding anniversary always falls at county fair my fondest memory was when our kids got on the radio and announced it was our anniversary and when the DJ asked what they got us, they said “a trophy”! It had been a good livestock show year for them and they had a numerous trophies! Looking forward to the traditional corn dog with my hubby at the fair on Thursday, August 15th, our 32nd wedding anniversary!

  5. Jessica Edwards

    Growing up, we always attended the county fair. My dad would be manning the Farm Bureau farm safety booth, my mom would be judging 4H, and we kids would be wandering about the buildings looking at all of the items on display: vegetables, craft items, baked goods. We loved looking at the animals and watching the horses barrel racing. One of the favorite events was the potato peeling contest. My dad made fair news one year by competing in the potato peeling contest using a serrated knife while everyone else used vegetable peelers. It made the local news.

  6. Ann Messerschmidt

    I took both my girls to the fair when they were around 4 months old. I commemorated both events with caricatures. they are so cute and I’m glad I spent the extra$ for those special memories!

  7. brandee

    We always attended the fair as kids, and now I bring my 4 kids to the fair every year. I love to see there face when we tell them we are going to the fair. They light up with excitement. I have to say that I still have that same feeling when we go. My favorite memory was 3 years ago when I was pregnant with my 4th and determined to go to the fair. I ended up having him on Aug 19th which was my birthday and we ended up going to the fair when he was a week old.

  8. Katie Stiles

    My favorite fair memory was the first time I was able to show at the State Fair. I won a trip with my goat and I was so excited to be on my “own” with my friends! I ended up living off of bags of cotton candy and chocolate milk from the all-you-can-drink stand without the supervision of my parents. I had so much fun running around and exploring the State Fair and learning the ropes of showing a goat at the state level.

  9. Amanda

    Aww, your kids and their cows are too cute! My husband has been to the state fair every year of his life, and I’ve only missed one year since being married to him (when I was 2 weeks away from giving birth). 🙂 We love bringing our kids and sharing our favorites with them, and they love the rides and animals! It’s also become a tradition for our friends to go and we do a silly State Fair Bingo game that makes for a lot of laughs. 🙂

  10. Marlene Hunt

    My favorite State Fair memories are of attending with my mother. We would get up very early and get there in time to be the first ones on the grounds. This was back in the day when you parked right on the grounds. We’d go through the barns before the dust could irritate her asthma, have something to eat and go through the grandstand vendors and the home ec building and then head home. We collected every freebie given out and had lots to look at for weeks!

  11. Trinitie Kedrowski

    We love going to the fair. My kids favorite things of course is the animals. I am trying to make more memories with my kids by taking them to fairs every year. They love the rides too.

  12. LuAnn Tacke

    My best fair memories were when my Mom would take me. She grew up on a farm in Arlington, MN, so hitting the barns to see the cows was at the top of our list. I have such fond memories of hitting the Dairy Bldg. to get a malt and a cheese sandwich. When I became a Mom I did the same stuff with my kids. We LOVE the cows!

    1. Zweber Farms Post author

      Yum cheese sandwiches…

      Congratulations LuAnn! You were chosen at random to win our Midwest Dairy and Minnesota State Fair giveaway. You will have to come back to our blog and let us know if you were able to create any new memories at the fair.

  13. kandynolesstevens

    As a 4-H family there are many special moments collected over the years. Yet, my favorite memory is the last year my oldest son showed at the Lyon County Fair. That summer a dear friend of mine was looking for someone to take care of some motherless kittens. The mama cat had been ran over, and the babies were only a few weeks old. My friend’s family was leaving for vacation and couldn’t take the kittens along. In comes Reed to the rescue. He lovingly nursed the three kittens. Two died within a few days of arrival at our house from distemper, but the third just seemed to have the will to live. That kitten was in the mama’s mouth when she was hit, and thus he was blind in one eye. He was quite possibly the scraggliest little kitty ever, but twelve-year-old Reed saw something beautiful in him. Reed decided he was “man enough” to start living in the tree house that summer, and he and the kitten moved out there for feedings throughout the night. (Of course, walkie-talkies kept him in close contact to Mom in case of emergencies.) Reed contacted an old country vet who gave him a recipe for kitten milk replacer, and he lovingly made that replacer from scratch. He bottle fed his little pale cream colored buddy until the kitty was able to drink from a bowl. He decided to create a cooking show for the video project for the fair featuring his younger brother making the milk replacer, and thus earning him a Grand Champion ribbon and a trip to the state fair. Reed named the kitten, Miracle (because it was a miracle he survived). Since the deal was the kittens were to be a foster, Reed found a great family for him. The reason for the favorite memory is how hard my son worked to save the life of someone who needed him and how he took on that responsibility all by himself. He was so proud of earning that champion ribbon, but more so of helping Miracle to survive!

    On a side note: A week after Miracle found his permanent home, Reed was killed in a school bus crash. So I always have a special place in my heart for any kids showing video projects ever since.

  14. Elizabeth Williams

    It’s hard to pinpoint a single memories when I have so many! I just love the quiet in the morning, when you’re the first one in the barns to wash and milk the cattle. The scents of fresh straw & feed, soapy, half-dried boots from yesterday, oil in halters and clippers. It’s so relaxing, exciting and invigorating at the same time!

  15. Justine

    I would love to start a tradition of bringing my daughter Dakota to the Minnesota State Fair. This will be here first fair.. and my all time favorite! Please pick us!

  16. Darlene Donnelly

    I grew up so close to the Dak Co. Fair that I practically lived there when I was young. We were there day and night riding and just socializing. After I got married we would take the kids and walk through all of the building and of course the Barns! When the kids were old enough for 4H they began showing animals (dairy, beef, and even a few sheep). They won state fair trips and we went to the State Fair to watch. 4H taught them all so much and they still have their 4H friends! It is Sad to say that he youngest is now too old to show so now we need an excuse to go to the State Fair 🙂

  17. Sara Fleets (@fleetssara)

    My favorite fair memory was being “dragged” there everyday in about 1975 or so. My mom had to be at the fair EVERY day for work. It was a different society then, so my little sister and I got to freely roam the fair and got to ride the ‘Ol Mill and Giant Slide all we wanted. I also go to man the microphone at the booth and invite people in for some free cold water. I was about 7 or 8. I loved talking on the microphone.

    I still love the fair today. I go at least two times every year.

  18. Anna Wagner (@AnnaJWagner)

    My favorite state fair memory is really tough to pick. I’m going with ties between winning Grand Champion Senior Rabbit Showman my 2nd to last year of 4-H and beaming onstage while performing in MN State 4-H Arts-In because I just loved it so much. Those are feelings I’ll never forget.

    I also love just strolling around the state fair at night when the grandstand act is playing and then when the fireworks go off. The people at the corn roast stand get up on the roaster and start dancing before they close down every night and it’s just such a different place at night.

  19. Amanda Finch

    I love that I’m keeping a family tradition alive. For the Dakota County Fair it was walking through the 4-H building with my parents, while looking at the neat projects and now my kids are able to walk through the building with them and getting a 4-H malt afterwards. At the State Fair it was always a tradition to go and walk through the animal barns, eating the cheese sandwiches and all you can drink milk. I admit that we cut out the cheese sandwiches, but walk through the animal barns and drink the milk! I’m glad that I’m able to keep the tradition alive and my kids look forward to both fairs every year.

  20. Molly Kappers

    Anything that involved sitting on the showboxes catching up with friends you only get to see during fair season! There were always memories made in the dairy barns with my “4-H” & “FFA” friends since we didn’t get to see much of each other during the school year, we took advantage of our summers.

    1. Zweber Farms Post author

      Showbox sitting is serious business. That is how I met Tim 😉 It was good seeing you and your little one at the Dakota County Fair, though I don’t think I had a chance to say “hi”

  21. Emily Krekelberg

    My favorite MN State Fair memory is having my likeness carved in a 90-pound block of butter in 2011 as a finalist for Princess Kay of the Milky Way! Now, I HAVE to go back every year to watch the coronation and of course, see those fabulous butterheads! I also love walking through the barns and catching the dairy shows! 🙂

  22. Alison

    My son and I love the poultry ban and all the birds of all kinds, one time one of the 4 H’s was showing there duck and he struggled to get out of their hands and did. The duck took after my son and my son bent down and picked up the duck and the duck didn’t want to get out of his arms. We all had a good laugh.

  23. Melanie

    My favorite memory is when I used to get a bucket of Sweet Martha’s Cookies and then head to the milk stand for all you can drink milk with those cookies. I did this every year as a teen until I became lactose intolerant :-). We’re bringing our kids this year – our youngest for the first time. They’re going to have so much fun!