I ran into the Mayor of the Midway for the Steele County Fair Scott Kozelka the other day. He is always able to rattle off the number of days until the next fair, but he can't quite predict the future. We all hope for the full experience of a 'regular' fair in 2021 after the cancelation this year.

The December edition of The Barker newsletter includes the headline, "Steele County Free Fair will be bringing back the fun in 2021 with a vengeance." The article that follows states, "Our crew is working hard to have the very best entertainment, education, and a variety of events that will ensure that you and your family enjoy each every day of the fair." Dates are August 17 thru 22, 2021.

Kozelka says it's getting close to the time to issue contracts to vendors and adds that improvements are going on to the fairgrounds. A big electrical project has started that will relocate power lines underground. He says some lines from the office to the ticket booth by the grandstand have been put underground and expects power lines around Fair Square Park to have been relocated by the 2021 fair.

He adds that it's a big project and the fair is working with the city, county, Owatonna Chamber of Commerce, and private businesses to bring the funding together. The Barker indicates, "A matching state grant of $750,000 will be provided to Steele County to relocate all electrical power and overhead lines underground at the Steele County Fairgrounds in order to meet safety standards under the National Electrical Code."

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The Barker also reported ways the fair has worked with the community during the pandemic. The fair provided small buildings and barricades for Mayo Clinic in Owatonna's COVID-19 testing area, picnic tables for restaurants to offer outdoor seating during the summer/fall, and hand-washing stations at Viracon.

MORE TO EXPLORE: Fun Memories of the Steele Co. Fair