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Washington County Fair: Something new every year

The Okee Dokee Brothers are one of the new acts at the Washington County Fair this year. (Submitted photo)

The Washington County Fair has been around for more than 100 years, but organizers are still coming up with new ways to engage and entertain the 50,000 people that pass annually through its gates.

"We try to change our entertainment every so often, unless we have a huge demand for it," said organizer Liz Dietsche.

One act that's back again this year due to high demand is the Rockin' Hollywoods. The group will perform "solid gold rock & roll" from the 1950s through the '80s on Friday night.

On Saturday night, The Dweebs will make their debut performance at the fair. There will be a larger tent over the main stage area than in past years in case of rain, Dietsche said.

A new car, truck and tractor show will replace the all-terrain vehicle pull of last year. At the show, located in the demolition derby pit area, antique vehicles will be out on display, she said.

Grant money helped cover the costs of another entertainer who will take audiences back in time. The show Pop Wagner and His Faire Weather Follies will be reminiscent of vaudeville. Features include a singing ventriloquist, juggler and magician, trick fiddler and ragtime piano player, according to

The shows -- which will be on Aug. 6, 7 and 8 -- are paid for with funds provided by the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council through a grant made possible by the McKnight Foundation and the Minnesota Legislature, Dietsche said.

A teen event that was new last year will take place again this year from 8:30 to 10 p.m. on Thursday at the main stage. There will be disc jockey music, dancing, games and prizes, Dietsche said.

"It's a little party for the teens," she said.

Other performances and events new at the fair this year include the following:

- Adventures in Magic, a comedy-magic act whose performers have appeared on MTV, "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," "America's Got Talent" and more. (12 p.m. Aug. 4-8)

-The Okee Dokee Brothers, who describe themselves as kids with beards, seek to remind children (and adults) of the intrinsic ability to discover, imagine and create through music. (3:30 and 4:30 p.m. Aug. 4, )

- Brian Wicklund and the Fiddle Pals, led by Wicklund, an expert fiddler who has toured nationally and internationally and written a series of method books for those learning to play. (3:30 to 6 p.m. Aug. 8)

- Black Dirt Theater, a group whose mission is to create theater for everyday people. (1 to 5 p.m. Aug. 6)

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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