I've always looked forward to the county fair.  As a child, I was grateful to visit the Dakota County Fair yearly, into my teens in Farmington, MN.  Even better, was the State Fair.  When I left home, I often re-visited to attend the State Fair with my father.

When the Covid-19 pandemic struck and forced the cancellation of this year's MN State Fair, I was heartbroken.  I had moved in January to Duluth-Superior, and couldn't wait for August and the fair.  Bars and restaurants were re-opening in my current state of Wisconsin.  However, the announcement was made.  There would be no state fairs in Wisconsin or Minnesota.

I was grateful to move back home to Tri-Cities.  But, there are no fairs.  When I moved here, the first time in 2014, I hit the jackpot with the Benton-Franklin Fair & Rodeo.  Two counties, one fair!  Great entertainment, vendors, and the Rodeo.  So awesome!

Of course, the pandemic has forced the Fair to cancel this year’s event.

Good things are happening due to the cancellation.  The organizers of the Benton Franklin Fair & Rodeo have created the Fair Cares Fund, to help some organizations who were impacted by this years' canceled event.  For some organizations, the Best Week of Summer was how they made most of their money.

If you are able to give us a helping hand, a portion of those donated funds will be earmarked to assist nonprofits, service groups and others affected by the cancellation of the event. The Fair had an $18.5 million dollar economic output in Benton County in 2019 and we know several of our partners are struggling for survival.

The fund will be accepting donations to the fund during the remainder of August.

You can learn more about the Fair Cares Fund here.

According to the Fair's Facebook page:

We are having a Virtual Still Life show for the Benton Franklin Fair. Registration is open now at http://ow.ly/e53m50ARLKH. Photos of entries will be uploaded, judged, and premiums will be paid. Photo uploads are due by August 21, 2020. Please only one entry per person per class this year. There are many classes to choose from including Photography, Floriculture, Creative Crafts, and much more! For more information on classes and to register, http://ow.ly/uEtt50ARLKG

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