‘Old Coots’ offering advice at Murray County Fair

If you need advice in a bad way, the “Old Coots” will be available all week at the Murray County Fair, which starts Wednesday in Slayton.

“The old coots is something new this year,” said Christy Riley, community relations coordinator for Murray County. “We are just going to have a tent set up next to our historical museum booth — hopefully it will have an old couch under the tent — and we are encouraging people to stop by, sit a spell, and share stories and come up with advice if they have any.”

Their sign says “Old coots giving advice: It’s probably bad advice, but it’s free.”

Other free events all week, starting Wednesday, will be 4-H shows, vendors, bingo stand, and a carnival. Most events are free admission other than grandstand events and carnival. Highlights include a free IV Play concert. The popular rock band from Mankato will perform Friday night in the beer garden.

The Murray County Fair officially starts on Wednesday, but as a kick off event this year the fair will be doing a 5K and 1M Fun Run or Walk today which will be a fundraiser for the 2020 fair. The public is invited to the fairgrounds to have a pork burger or malt for the fair season before the crowds the rest of the week.

“We are all really proud of our good local cooks we have on the fairgrounds,” said Riley. “Our 4-H food stand is known for their beef commercials. They also serve panini sandwiches, quesadillas, burgers, salads and more. Our pork producer booth is legendary. They have great pork burgers, pulled pork sandwiches, pork chop on a stick and the ‘hog trough.'”

Riley said the hog trough is pulled pork, lettuce, cheese, sour cream and salsa over Fritos chili cheese corn chips.

The 4-H will be out in force, she said.

“Our 4-H general exhibits are growing so we will spreading them out between two buildings this year,” she said. ” They will be in the main 4-H building and then our younger generation club members, Cloverbuds, will all be in Heritage Hall.”

Shuttle service will be available.

“We will have shuttle routes around the outer streets around the fairgrounds starting at 5 p.m. each night — Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Look for the bus stop signs or flag down our shuttles if you need a ride,” Riley said.

The Murray County Fair is important to residents and businesses alike.

“I’m so proud of the community support we have,” said Riley. “If it weren’t for our sponsors, we couldn’t put on this fair. It’s the community event of the year. We have three class reunions that have been scheduled at fair time.”

Wednesday: Highlights include the carnival rides, which open at 4 p.m., Dueling Pianos are scheduled to perform from 6-6:45 p.m., free under the tent. Backseat driver competition — free at the horse arena. Sign up your team (limited number of spaces available) to show off your communications skills on navigating a blindfolded driver through a obstacle course. Cash prizes will be given out. The beer garden in the center of the fairgrounds will have a bean bag tournament and entertainment by DJ Mylan Ray. The 4-H fashion revue is at 4 p.m. at Heritage Hall. The Century Farm presentation is is at 6:45 p.m. under the tent.

Thursday: Free activities for kids are scheduled with pioneer games, crafts and dress up opportunities near Heritage Hall. Chuckwagon demonstrations will take place with free samples throughout the day. Specific times for the Campfire Dutch Oven Cooking will be 2 p.m., 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. The tractor pull in the grandstand — $10 per person and kids younger than 6 are free. The Bean Bag Tournament and KJOE Summer Fun Party is in the beer garden. Beer tasting featuring Take 16 Brewery of Luverne and wine tasting featuring Painted Prairie Vineyard of Currie available for purchase in the beer garden starting at 6 p.m. until gone. Musicians Ron and Jane Cote will sing and play songs of the old west from 5-7 p.m. under the tent.

Friday: Free activities for kids with pioneer games, crafts and dress up opportunities near Heritage Hall. Chuckwagon Cooking Demonstrations start at 8 a.m. Campfire coffee and biscuits will be given out throughout the morning as free samples. The kids bean bag tournament is at 1:30 p.m. and the kiddie tractor pull is at 4:30 p.m. At 5:30 p.m. the pork loin supper is near the Pork Producers stand. The watermelon and seed spitting contest is at 6:30 p.m. at the center of the fairgrounds. Stock car races begin at 7:30 p.m. in the grandstand. IV Play takes the stage from 9 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Admission to the concert is free.

A fair shuttle offered by VFW/Legion members runs from 5-8 p.m.

Saturday: The carnival opens at 11 a.m. The Prairie Days parade is at 1 p.m. in downtown Slayton. Entertainment starts in the beer garden at 3 p.m. featuring Starfire, which is billed as “the Upper Midwest premier oldies rock ‘n’ roll band,” according to the website, starfirerocks.com. Rib Fest starts at 5:30 p.m. They cook all day and some of the teams offer special items for sale for charity throughout the day. The Enduro car race starts at 7 p.m. in the grandstand.