A fair night for the fair

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt The Pet Show was the first judged 4-H show of the 2018 Fair. Left to right, in the Junior Division, Hunter Dauer took first place with his dog Hunter, and Eli Dorchner came in second for his hamster Jewls. In the Senior Division, Winsten Nienhause took reserve for his dog Kooper, and Sarah Junker took the champion ribbon with her dog Jax.

NEW ULM — The 151 Annual Brown County Free Fair started Wednesday afternoon with rides, animal attractions, snack food and good music.

The first official event of the fair was the 4-H Pet Show, which was held in the Swine Barn. The Brown County is famous for its animal attractions, but the pet show features the greatest variety, with dogs, cats and hamsters.

Kids in kindergarten through sixth grade exhibit their pets before veterinarian Dr. Sharon Hurley. Hurley has served as judge for several years. She said it’s always fun because “we get to meet all the great pets.”

Awards were given out in the Junior Division and Senior Division. In the Junior Division Eli Dorschner took the reserve ribbon with his hamster “Jewls.” Hunter Dauer took the champion ribbon with his dog Gus.

In the Senior Division Winsten Nienhaus took the reserve ribbon with his dog Kooper. Sarah Junker took the champion ribbon with her dog Jax. Junker said Jax is a mix breed called a Texas Healer. He is only 10 months old, and this was his first dog show.

Hurley said the real competition is seeing how well the kids know their animals. The kids receiving ribbons demonstrated the greatest knowledge of their pets and an ability to care for them.

Not long after the pet show the fairgrounds, with rides and food vendors, officially opened to the public.

This year saw many fan favorite rides returned. They included the Zipper, Ferris Wheel, Bumper Cars, Scrambler, Spinning Strawberries, Bungee Jump and the Merry-Go-Round. There was even a few new attractions, such as a spinning tug boat.

The evening closed with the first demolition derby and a performance by Cold Blooded Whiskey.

The Brown County Fair continues Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m. with the FFA/4-H Sheep Show in the Swine Barn. Thursday is Senior Citizens Day. The Outstanding Senior Citizen Award will be given in the Civic Center at 10: 30 a.m.

The 4-H Rabbit Show, Horse Show and Beef Cattle Show will also be held Thursday. At 5:30 p.m in the Grandstand, “Them Pesky Kids” will open for the band “Fire House.”