SAUK RAPIDS -- The rides, food, bands, and Derbies are all back this year at the Benton County Fair.

Spokesman Al Stemper says the fair board is planning to have a very normal-looking event this year, after canceling last year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The midway is going to be a big draw, of course, the food is always a big thing for people, in the beer garden we've got a full list of bands to play in the evening.  So we'll go on with our normal band entertainment.

Stemper says they are booking acts right now for the Cottonwood Stage, and they expect to have motor cross, demo derbies, and truck pulls back in the grandstand.

He says the one exception might be any exhibits or activities geared toward small kids that are not able to be vaccinated for the coronavirus.

We might limit the number of activities that our younger population - the kids - can do.  They're always touching and feeling common surfaces.  So, I think we might end up changing our active displays to more static things.

Stemper says youth judging may also take place over a longer period of time so they can space out the kids.

He says they are a little bit behind schedule because they were waiting to see what kind of restrictions they might be under. The state lifted all COVID restrictions in late May.

Stemper says they will be checking out other county fairs that are held before theirs, to see how they are adjusting some of their shows and displays.

The Benton County Fair runs from August 3rd through the 8th.

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