Washington County Fair starts Wednesday

Tie or Re-Tie the Knot (for Free) at the Washington County Fair

Tenth Judicial District Judge Greg Galler will perform free weddings and wedding vow renewals at the Washington County Fair Aug. 1-5.

Washington County fairgoers will have an opportunity to get married or have their wedding vows renewed for free during the fair from Wednesday to Sunday, Aug. 1-5, on the fairgrounds in Lake Elmo.

The ceremonies will take place on a hill overlooking the Washington County’s Master Gardeners Fairest Garden.  Bergmann’s Greenhouse and Farm Market in Stillwater is landscaping and decorating the area where the ceremonies will be held.

Tenth Judicial District Judge Greg Galler came up with idea and will perform the ceremonies.

Galler said he wanted to make the fair even more memorable for those who attend.  “I love the demographics of the fair. It is a good gathering spot, and the ceremonies are something everyone can enjoy whether they participate or observe.”

Wedding ceremonies are from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (Aug. 1-3), and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday (Aug. 4-5).  Participants sign up 30 minutes before the scheduled time block.

Marguerite Rheinberger, a Washington County Fair Board Director and organizer of the event, said the ceremonies require no registration and are on a first-come, first-served basis, so they do not know how many people will participate.  “If we have to, we will go beyond the scheduled times to get everyone in,” she said.

After seeing the new attraction posted on the International Association of Fairs and Expositions Web site, Washington County Fair Board Director John Rheinberger contacted the organization and other entities to see how unusual this offering is.

“We are the only county in the United States to offer fair-sponsored free weddings and vow renewals every day of our fair to every qualified person without any pre-registration or contest involved, and in a very open setting on the fairgrounds so that all other fairgoers can witness the ceremonies,” Rheinberger said.

Normal gate admission will be charged for all participants and observers.  For more information, visit http://www.washingtoncountyfair.org/nav/FAQ’s_for_Weddings.pdf

4-Hers show projects

4-H members from Washington County will exhibit their projects and knowledge at the Washington County Fair Aug. 1-5.

More than 600 youth will show what they have  learned and worked on in the last year.  Exhibits range from food and nutrition to dairy cattle to performing arts.

Fun events happening with 4-H throughout the fair include Family Fun Day, livestock shows, Arts-In Performance, dog and cat shows, and livestock auction.

To find out more about 4-H, or to locate a club in your area, visit www.extension.umn.edu/county/washington and click on 4-H in Washington County, or call (651) 430-6800.

The Washington County Fair is located at 12300  40th St. N. in Lake Elmo.

Seniors Invited to Annual County Fair Celebration

Washington County residents, ages 65 and older, are invited to the Washington County Fair’s senior citizen celebration on Friday, August 3 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the west pavilion on the fairgrounds.

This event is free, and seniors receive free admission to the fair on Friday until 1 p.m.

The 2012 Washington County Fair Outstanding Senior Citizens, Mary  Kukacka of Denmark Township and Jesse Crane of Woodbury, will be honored at this event, followed by refreshments, door prizes and BINGO.

Washington County Attorney Pete Orput will be the master of ceremonies.  His staff will distribute material on preventing identity theft.

Information booths will be set up  by Lakeview Health, Walmart Pharmacy and Home Instead Senior Care.

Shuttle buses will be available in the fair parking lots to transport seniors to the event on the fairgrounds.

For more information contact Margot Rheinberger at 651-439-4199.