County fairs are popular all over Minnesota in the month of August.  The state has almost 40 county fairs in this month alone.  Amy Barrett from Explore Minnesota joined me on WJON.  She highlighted some of the attractions throughout the state which includes the Benton County Fair in Sauk Rapids this week.

County fairs:

  • Washington County Fair in Stillwater
    • Dates back to 1871 – 151 years of fun
    • Thousands of exhibits (arts, quilts, woodworking, goats, cows and more)
    • Tractor pull, auto cross and demolition derby (common themes at county fairs)
    • Food and beer
  • Benton County Fair in Sauk Rapids
    • Grandstand: tractor pull Friday, demolition derby Saturday, autocross Sunday
    • Free corn feed on Friday at 3 sponsored by the Benton/Sherburne Corn Growers
    • Plus: Midway rides, bingo, live music, a beer garden, llama judging, kids activities and a military parade (Sunday at 11)
  • Pine County Fair in Pine City (they’re calling it the “Greater MN Get-Together”)
    • Live entertainment at the bandshell, including an Elvis tribute on Friday at 5, karaoke on Saturday night and a yo-yo master Sunday at noon
    • Rides (daily) and a fish pond (Sunday) for kids

We have a complete list on the Explore Minnesota website:

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Live music, outdoor concerts:

We Minnesotans love our outdoor music. Some examples this weekend:

  • WE Fest in Detroit Lakes (Th-Sat)
    • America’s Biggest Country Music and Camping Festival
    • This year’s lineup includes Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, Tanya Tucker and lots of other prominent country musicians
    • Plus:
      • Campsite decoration contest
      • Watch the baggo tournament (same as cornhole, I think)
      • First-ever We Fest dance competition and a chance to win VIP tickets for 2023
  • Live music on Saturday afternoons from 1 to 4 p.m. at Saint Croix Vineyards
    • Free public tours at noon on Saturdays, stick around for
    • Pack a picnic, order a flight and have a relaxing afternoon.
  • MN Scottish Fair and Street Party at Celtic Junction in St. Paul – Saturday, Aug. 6
    • Clan booths
    • Scottish music
    • British car and motorcycle exhibit

Find more music events in the online calendar at


It’s been hot, and that makes it a good time to get out on the water. Luckily, with 10,000 lakes and some very scenic rivers, Minnesota has lots of great places to canoe and kayak.

From EMT’s website:

Wonderful Waterways for Canoeing and Kayaking in Minnesota

  • Mississippi River
  • Root River
  • Saint Croix River, national scenic Riverway
  • Check out the article for the others!

Great Places to Paddleboard in Minnesota

  • Bear Head Lake State Park
  • Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area
  • Lake Winona
  • Check out the article for the others!

Many state parks rent canoes, kayaks, paddleboards and other watercraft, so you don’t have to have your own boat to enjoy this activity—canoes/kayaks are only $15 half day/$25 full day

Shuttle service offered at Interstate and William O’Brien state parks

If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Amy Barrett it is available below.



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