Ramsey County Fair 2018

 

Ramsey County Fair 2018 - A Special Section published by Lillie Suburban Newspapers
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The 105th annual Ramsey County Fair ... A long-standing tradition! 

Every family has its own traditions. Traditions for celebrating the holidays, birthdays and special events. County fairs have been a long-standing tradition in the community. Back in the day when towns were not very large, county fairs emerged. It was a time, after a long season of hard work, for the towns to gather and celebrate with their neighbors. 

Over time, county fairs have evolved with the changing times, adapting to the changing communities. The Ramsey County Fair, celebrating its 105th year, has had its changes, but organizers also realize the value of traditions and have strived to keep as many traditions as possible for families to pass along to future generations. 

While many county fairs have had to start charging a fee for admission, Ramsey County remains one of the few free admission fairs, charging only a $3 parking fee — if you should park in the lot. Ramsey County Fair organizers also have strived to include affordable food vendors and amusement rides each year making it a budget-friendly way for a family to come and celebrate with its neighbors.

There is something for everyone at the fair: music, entertainment, food, rides, 4H displays, exhibits of food, arts and crafts.

This year’s fair begins at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, July 11, and closes at 9:30 p.m. Sunday, July 15. 

You can be part of the fair as well. Maybe you have a family recipe that you love to make, or a work of art, whether it’s something you have sewn, quilted, knitted or painted. You never know, you just may win that prestigious county fair blue ribbon. Do you have a special talent? Be sure to enter the Ramsey County Fair’s amateur talent contest — winners get to compete in the State Fair competition. Or maybe you would just enjoy sitting back and listening to some good music in the shade, with a lemonade in one hand and cotton candy in the other. 

Kids — have you ever wanted to know what it’s like to be a farmer? Check out the “Farmer for the Day” exhibit or check out the activities presented by the folks from Gibbs Farm Museum of Pioneer and Dakotah Life. 

Of course, you can’t beat the fun at the carnival and midway.

For more information on events, contests and schedules visit the Ramsey County Fair website at www.ramseycountyfair.org. The five-day fair takes place in Maplewood at the intersection of White Bear and Frost avenues.


 

Calling all DIY-ers and Pinterest fans — it’s your time to shine

Have you made a craft or recipe in the past year that you are ready to show the world at the Ramsey County Fair? 

Here’s your opportunity — whether it’s a painting, needlework, photography or your secret recipe for strawberry rhubarb jam — you could be eligible to win cash prizes and ribbons, too. 

There are categories for arts and crafts, painting, stamping, sewing, knitting, clothing, photography, home furnishings, plants, flowers, vegetables, foods and more.

Exhibits must have been made or grown by the exhibitor anytime from Aug. 1, 2017, through July 10, 2018. All entries will be accepted for display in the general exhibit area on the fairgrounds between 5 and 8 p.m. on Monday, July 9, or between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Tuesday, July 10. Food items will also be accepted on Wednesday, July 11, from 8 to 10 a.m. All exhibits must remain at the fair for the duration of the fair.

For more information call Sharon Stillings at 651-633-8577. For an application and exhibitor information visit the Ramsey County Fair website at www.ramseycountyfair.com.


 

A fuzzy grand marshal

This year’s White Bear Avenue parade grand marshal may look a little different than most grand marshals — he’ll be waving a tail rather than a hand. 

This year’s parade leader is Sgt. Fuzz, one of the newest employees of the St. Paul Police Department. 

Fuzz is serving as a comfort dog at the police department, a role that differs from the therapy dogs people may be familiar with. 

John Lozoya, senior commander of the department’s Community Engagement Unit, says the dog is serving to be a smiling, eager face, something that can be needed after officers have a particularly tough day. 

“Law enforcement is very stressful work,” Lozoya says — it’s stressful for patrol officers dealing with 911 calls and stressful for investigators as they work with victims and solve crimes. 

“Sgt. Fuzz can take it away from them for 30 seconds to a couple of minutes, just kind of break up the day a little bit,” Lozoya says.

 

From a rescue to comfort

Lozoya says it was kind of a “perfect storm” situation on how Fuzz came to the department. Often, Chief Todd Axtell would bring his own dog, Stella, around the office. Other officers would bring their dogs by too, something everyone seemed to enjoy. 

One officer brought up to Lozoya that he had read an article about a police department out west that had a comfort dog serving in a role similar to Fuzz. 

When reserve officer Kathryn Smith, who is Fuzz’s handler, said she found Fuzz with his mother and siblings abandoned at a vacant farm, Lozoya decided it would be worth giving a comfort dog a try. 

Fuzz has been a department hit ever since, with staff checking Fuzz’s schedule to find a time for him to visit their unit.

 

A “quirky” personality

The now 6-month-old Fuzz has duties that mainly include being a goof. He even has a desk for those duties in the Community Engagement Unit’s office — “a doggy bed under a desk,” Lozoya says with a laugh.

Lozoya described Fuzz as a lovable tease, who knows how to push buttons, share his toys and loves a good belly rub.

“He’s just a ham,” laughs Lozoya. “He’s a funny dog — really neat personality with him.”

He says Fuzz will come into his office, pretend to go after the computer cords and then run away. He also has a special shoe that he’ll leave in others’ offices.

Goofing aside, Lozoya says Fuzz serves important dual roles. Not only does Fuzz come into the office a few times a week to visit staff, he also goes out into the community for things like parades, Safe Summer Nights programming and other community events. 

“For us, we’re opening a different door. It’s a different way of law enforcement, different way of reaching out to our communities,” Lozoya says. “Traditionally, K9s have been with us for a long time and our K9s are working dogs. They’re a very valuable tool that we have in our resources with apprehension, searching ... But the difference between our working K9s and Sgt. Fuzz, [is he’s] geared more towards community engagement.”

 

A fuzzball

As for the name? 

“He had several names,” Lozoya says, before a consensus was reached to call him Fuzz. “He came with a name like ‘Tyson,’ and then it changed to another name. I don’t know who, but someone said, ‘Just call him Fuzz, he’s a fuzzball.’”

Lozoya laughs explaining the dog was originally an officer, “but somehow, someone promoted him to Sgt. Fuzz and I have no clue who did.”

All jokes aside, Lozoya says he sees Fuzz serving an important role. While he isn’t a therapy dog, an important distinction because he has yet to go through the extensive training, Lozoya says if he were to become certified later down the road, he’d like to see his role expand. Lozoya envisions him visiting kids in the hospital or comforting crime victims. But it’s just a vision.

“It’s a new chapter, uncharted waters for us with Sgt. Fuzz, but I think anything that helps our police department and our officers to engage our community in a non-traditional crisis, I think, is just a win-win for everyone: for our officers, for our community, for our city,” Lozoya says. 

 

– Marjorie Otto can be reached at 651-748-7816 or eastside@lillienews.com


 

Ramsey County’s next big star

Do you have what it takes to be the next big star? The 105th annual Ramsey County Fair talent contest is now taking applications from those who wish to compete in this year’s amateur talent show on Sunday, July 15, at 5:30 p.m. Winners of each category will go on to represent Ramsey County at the Minnesota State Fair.

The competition categories are: pre-teen for ages 12 and under; teens for ages 13 through 18; and open class for all ages. Cash prizes will be awarded in each category as follows: $65 for first place, $45 for second place and $25 for third place. Of course, it wouldn’t be a county fair without the blue ribbons, too! 

Registrations must be received before the deadline of Saturday, July 14 at 3 p.m., no exceptions. The entry fee of $10 must accompany the registration form. For more information on rules or a registration form visit www.ramseycountyfair.com.


 

Ramsey County Fair to honor outstanding senior citizens at 2018 fair

The fair board is now accepting nominations for the Ramsey County Outstanding Senior Citizen Award.

The award recognizes outstanding Ramsey County seniors who are involved in local volunteer work and contribute tirelessly to make a difference in the lives of others.

The fair will select one man and one woman to honor on Sunday, July 15, at a special recognition ceremony on the main stage. Winners will then represent Ramsey County at the State Fair competition where they also will be recognized at an award ceremony. 

Nominations will be accepted until Sunday, July 1. For more information or to request a nomination form, visit the Ramsey County Fair website at www.ramseycountyfair.com or call 651-770-2626.


Click here for more information on the many Ramsey County Fair activities!


 

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