County Fair receives grants from Department of Agriculture

Thanks to the voters of Minnesota, the “Legacy Amendment” was approved and the Minnesota Legislature authorized the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) to provide grants to the state’s county fairs through the ‘County Fair Arts Access and Cultural Heritage Grant Program.’

This funding was provided to “enhance arts access and education and to preserve and promote Minnesota’s history and cultural heritage as embodied in its county fairs.” Legacy Funding money appropriated by the State through sales tax dedicated funds was made available for outdoor heritage, clean water, parks and trails and arts and culture heritage.

The Isanti County Fair was one of the recipients of these grants and will be using the funding to promote the area’s history and culture. With historical attractions featured through-out the week of the fair, fair attendees will be able to learn about our heritage and the events and traditions that lead to the development of this area.

The 2012 Isanti County Fair July 18-22 will mark the 135th year of this great community get-together and with a theme of “Discovering Living History,” fair visitors will be able to experience an era of days gone by.

The “Old West Society of Minnesota” has been invited to set up an encampment near the fairgrounds pond during the week of the fair. Fair visitors will be transported back to part of history dating 1865 – 1899 and be able to look inside a tent, watch cooking demos over an open fire or see a real working chuck wagon. They will be invited to witness the robbery of the Wells Fargo shipment and the gunfight at the OK corral; all presented in a historical, accurate, and entertaining way with wardrobe and authentic firearms typical for that era.

Attendees will be able to continue their journey through history at one of the Great Lakes Lumberjack Shows which will be held several times daily. This family friendly show about Lumberjacks and timber sports will provide historic logging re-enactments with demonstrations on axe throwing, wood chopping, crosscut sawing and log rolling. Attendees will also learn historical facts about the logging industry in Isanti County during the 1800s, and be able to view antique logging tools used during that era.

There will also be theatrical stage performances by ABC Theatre Company portraying the early years of the Isanti County Fair and the city of Cambridge with a original presentation of ‘Pickled or Pickles.’ This short play written by Jon Nystrom and Dawn Holmquist will be presented on the porch of the Historical Society’s Log cabin each evening of the fair.

Project dollars for the fairs ‘Discovering Living History’ project have been  provided by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, through partnership with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.