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Slope County Farmer's Fair nears

By Betsy Simon

At the ripe old age of 92, the Slope County Farmer's Fair is looking pretty good, organizers say.

Lane Hall, county extension agent and advertising and publicity chair for the fair in Amidon, Friday through Sunday, said the attendees can expect the traditional fair activities they have come to know for almost a century.

"The preparations are coming along and we're putting the finishing touches on everything, so we'll be ready ...," Hall said in anticipation for the fair.

Preparations have come together because of community support, said board member Scott Bachmeier, whose favorite fair activity is the rodeo.

"This county is spaced out, but everybody really comes together and pitches in," he said. "I think that has to do with people enjoying coming together to create a great fair, where they can show people from all over what we do here."

Neil Gerbig, fair board president, said whether flying solo or with the family, there is something for everyone at the fair.

"There will be a gate charge, but it covers most of the events that people will get to be a part of," he said.

Among the highlights at the annual event will be pet shows, 4-H exhibits and a mud volleyball tournament during the day Saturday.

Come the evening, a barrel 4D race will be hosted by the Northwest Barrel Racing Association, along with a horseshoe tournament, a rib cook-off supper and the local play, American Idle-Amidon Auditions, in honor of the old Western-style fair Slope County prides itself on.

"Idle. Like tractor idle," Bachmeier said. "We'll have flashback videos from fairs past to show people what it was like back in the day."

The fun continues Sunday with the 4-H Parade of Champions and attending the livestock sale before noon.

The North Dakota Rodeo Association and Slope Circuit Rodeo will co-sanction a rodeo in the afternoon. It will be followed by a 3-on-3 basketball tournament at Central Elementary School.

Attendees can wrap-up their three-day fair experience with kids' games and a raffle before the pig roast and sweet corn supper. There will also be one final showing of local talent in the American Idle-Amidon Auditions.

Hall said the fair is also bound to be a good time for residents to meet up with people they haven't seen in a while and take in good entertainment.

"This year, because it has unfortunately been so dry outside, people have wrapped up a lot of the work in their fields," he said. "But now they can come and enjoy a good rodeo and support the 4-H kids, who will have their projects judged on Friday before the projects are displayed for the public to see on Saturday."

Everyone will be invited back to the fairgrounds Monday at 9 a.m. to assist with cleanup.

"After this, we'll get going again in October and start planning for next year's fair," Hall said.