Fairs We Love

We love fairs whether they're county fairs, community fairs, art fairs or other community gatherings.  To date we have visited upwards of 30-35 Minnesota county fairs, and dozens of other fairs.  

We're going to use this space to give you our take on some of these fairs.  There are some that are so awesome you won't want to miss them.  Know that these "reviews", what are really just our impressions, are personal opinions of ours.


The Steele County Free Fair is the granddaddy of all county fairs. Held in mid-August ever year it is the size of two or three typical county fairs.

It has several animal barns including a massive horse barn and a large goat selection (nod to my wife the Goat Whisperer).  It has a huge camper selection, which is very unusual for county fairs.

The food selection is larger than anything we've seen in all the fairs we've attended.  What's also unusual is the number of businesses that come to hawk their wares.  They fill, to the brim, two full hockey arena buildings.

An interesting feature is their "Village of Yesteryear" featuring 25 buildings from the early days of the fair.  Just outside this area is a collection of antique tractors.  

If you're going to attend just one county fair each summer, the Steele County fair is the one to go to.


The Anoka County Fair is one of the top county fairs in Minnesota.  Located about a mile north of downtown Anoka, it's tucked away along Highway 47 in a neighborhood setting.  Within it's own fairgrounds, there is parking located on-site as well as a large parking lot outside the grounds just west of the venue.  We like the on-site parking, especially for those using handicap parking.

One of the things we enjoy about this fair is how they have a large number of horses.  While Michelle loves the goats (which Anoka has some of), John loves the ponies.  The Anoka County Fair delivers.

The carnival is managed by Gopher State Expositions, our favorite Minnesota carnival company.  The person who manages "our game" (the wiffleball game), Kelly, works for this company.  She is awesome and is very helpful to our mission of bringing kindness to kids and parents.

This fair, like Steele County, has a huge selection of food options.  It's not as large as Steele County but it's one of the larger fairs in the state.  

If you love a good county fair and don't want to travel south, Anoka is a best bet.  The fair runs late July every year.


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