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Kandiyohi County Fairgrounds alive with activity as entries arrive ahead of today's public opening

WILLMAR, Minn. -- The Kandiyohi County Fairgrounds were alive Tuesday with the busy traffic of vehicles hauling livestock, people of all ages bringing entries, and fair rides and food stands being prepared for the Kandiyohi County Fair.

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Morgan Paulson stands by her dairy cattle Tuesday at the Kandiyohi County Fairgrounds in Willmar. Paulson has several entries in the County Fair. Clay Conover / Tribune

WILLMAR, Minn. - The Kandiyohi County Fairgrounds were alive Tuesday with the busy traffic of vehicles hauling livestock, people of all ages bringing entries, and fair rides and food stands being prepared for the Kandiyohi County Fair.

Tuesday was Entry Day at the Willmar fairgrounds. Animals, vegetables, flowers and 4-H projects and other exhibits were brought in from about 10 a.m. to 6 p.m, amidst the traffic of food trucks and semis pulling fair rides.

Open class projects, such as flowers, vegetables and baked goods, were judged Tuesday night to be ready for the fair today. Animal judging, 4-H and FFA project judging will be going on throughout the rest of the week.

The County Fair welcomes the public starting Wednesday morning at the fairgrounds on Seventh Street Northwest in Willmar, and events continue through Saturday night, from music and other entertainment to bull riding and auto racing.

But the exhibits are the heart of the fair each year.

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Many of the youth involved in 4-H complete many projects at the same time and present them all at the fair.

Morgan Paulson raised nine dairy cattle and four pigs, on top of completing quilting, shop, general crafts and fine arts general projects.

"It's very time-consuming having all the animals plus general projects," she said. "But, I love doing it, so I don't care how much time it takes."

Paulson's animals will be judged with those of hundreds of others on their ability to produce meat, pelts or dairy products. The young people will also be interviewed about their animals and how they raised them.

In the 4-H building, members spent Tuesday setting up their projects for display. General projects of all sorts covered the walls.

"The fair is their time to show what they've been doing for the last year," said Tom Jensen, leader of the Shooting Stars 4-H Club. "(We try to) keep them cool and keep their heads in the game."

Wednesday is Veterans Day at the fair. Veterans will get in for free today from 11 a.m., when the gates open, until 2 p.m. Today also has the Prairie Winds Summer Band at 11 a.m., a free veterans lunch at noon and bull riding at 7:30 p.m.

A shuttle bus will be available from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. at the Willmar Community Center and Kandi Mall.

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See more details at kandifair.com.

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