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Many favorites to return to Stevens County Fair

Cars splash water in the one of the heats 2018 enduro race at the Stevens County Fair. The race returns in 2019. Brooke Kern/Stevens County Times

Maintaining "one of the best fairs around," takes commitment, Stevens County Fair Board president Ryan Sleiter said at the fair board's annual appreciation event on Feb. 17.

Sleiter thanked the fair board and other volunteers, including the spouses of fair board members, for their effort. The fair wouldn't happen without sponsors who provide the money to bring in grandstand entertainment and free stage entertainment each year, Sleiter said.

Grandstand events and free entertainment will return for the Aug. 6-11 2019 fair.

Two of the most popular grandstand events are set for Saturday, Aug. 10, and Sunday, Aug. 11.

The rodeo returns on Aug. 10 and this year it includes bull riding, barrel racing, mutton bustin', bucking horses and bareback bucking horses, Sleiter said. The rodeo drew about 1,100 attendees in 2018, Sleiter said.

The demolition derby drew about 1,200 people last year, Sleiter said. The derby will be run on Aug. 11.

"There's not a lot of changes (to the derby)," Sleiter said. But, one change is the dual driver with one driver at the steering wheel and another driver on the gas and brakes, he said.

The enduro race returns on Friday, Aug. 9, Sleiter said the race drew about 800 people last year.

Another well-attended event is the community supper which kicks off the fair. The supper is Tuesday, Aug. 6, in the Lee Community Center on the fairgrounds.

Tonic Sol Fa will perform in the grandstand that night. "They are back by popular demand," Sleiter said.

Superior Industries' ribs and rides event for employees is Wednesday, Aug. 7.

Free entertainment on various locations on the fairgrounds including the free stage is available throughout the fair. Free entertainment in 2019 includes magicians, a petting zoo which promises to have baby goats, and a hypnotist and other performers.

Dan Dripps of Heartland Motors and Mike Mahoney of Dacotah Bank said it's important for their businesses to be fair sponsors. Heartland Motors is a sponsor of the demolition derby while Dacotah Bank is a sponsor of the rodeo.

"It's one of the better fairs around," Dripps said. "We do it for good will." And it's important to help maintain the fair.

'You do it to support the community," Mahoney said.

Mahoney said they'd encourage any business to consider supporting the fair as a sponsor. "I would encourage them to talk to any fari board member." A fair board member will have ideas of how a business can help support the fair, he said.