No County Fair for the first time in 116 years

Featured photo by Beltrami County Fair, Mary Shutter Stage. 

The Beltrami County Fair has been postponed until August 2021, the first time the fair has been called off since its beginning in 1904.

“This year, with the specter of a very contagious and deadly virus, we have reluctantly reached consensus as a board to postpone our 2020 Beltrami County Fair, originally scheduled for August 12-16, until August 11-15, 2021,” said the a release.

“Guidance from local, state and federal agencies, along with daily bulletins and long-term bans on large festivals with no end in sight greatly influenced this decision. In addition, there are many of our usual vendors and other activities that have declined or are hesitant to participate. There are not enough of us nor the huge army of volunteers that assists yearly to make this happen.”

The Beltrami County Agricultural Association is looking at a number of alternative smaller and manageable fair-type activities that can be hosted securely and within health and safety guidelines.

Ideas for an alternative fair are welcome, and can be submitted by phone or email to the Fair Board. Contact information is on the Beltrami County Fair’s website.

“Beltrami Electric Cooperative understands the Beltrami County Agriculture Association’s decision to postpone this year’s full-size county fair due to concerns related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the ability to maintain social distancing and safety guidelines for larger groups,” says Sam Mason, director of member and energy services at Beltrami Electric Cooperative. “We look forward to partnering with the Beltrami County Fair for a Beltrami Electric Night at the Fair in 2021.”

The Gold Mine Ranch Triple B Rodeo, scheduled for this August 14 and 15, has not been canceled or postponed at this time. Rodeo staffers will be working on a COVID-19 preparedness plan for the event.

“Our goal is to bring a fun filled family event into our community as long as we can do it safely and within the guidelines in place during those dates.  Gold Mine Ranch and Triple B Rodeo will only do this event if it will have a positive impact in our community,” said Joe Waslaski and Kris Klasen of Gold Mine Ranch in a joint statement.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


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