A free for all

MARSHALL – The 110th Lyon County Fair starts up this week, and fair organizers are hoping everyone will come and share the share the fun.

One of the biggest new features of the fair is something you can’t see. This year’s fair will be free to attend, with no parking or admission fees.

“We’re really excited about it,” Lyon County Fair Board Vice President Wally Wichmann said of the free aspect to this year’s event. “We’ve heard a lot of reports from people who plan on coming out to the fair. We hope it turns out that way.”

Wichmann said fair organizers are planning on increased attendance, especially when it comes to parking.

“It will be a little more of a challenge, but that’s a good problem,” he said.

Another special feature this year comes tonight when the public is invited to take one free carnival ride at 6 p.m.

There are also plenty of new events to enjoy, and a variety of entertainment geared toward the whole family.

Many of this week’s special events will be free, too. Minnesota bluegrass and gospel band Monroe Crossing will perform at the free stage on Friday, making three appearances spread through the afternoon and evening.

The Timberworks Lumberjack Show will be performing regularly throughout the fair, demonstrating logging competitions like speed carving and log rolling. Visitors in the mood for a laugh will also be able to check out entertainer Farmer Bob, who will appear with “Johnny, the World’s Funniest Tractor.”

Other special events this year include a theme day honoring veterans. Saturday morning will start with a pancake breakfast from 7-9:30 a.m. The meal is free, but free will donations of canned goods for the Kitchen Table Food Shelf will be accepted.

A program honoring veterans will follow the breakfast as will a talk by John Feda, and a musical tribute to veterans by Sherwin Linton.

Crowd-pleasing events like the PRCA Rodeo, draft horse show, and the demolition derby are also returning to the grandstand this year.

The draft horse show will get things started on Wednesday night, followed by the rodeo on Thursday and Friday. Events like mutton busting and free pony rides will also give kids a taste of the rodeo action.

A completely different kind of action will start up on Saturday, when drivers smash their way to the top at the demolition derby.