BEAR RIVER- In 1911, the hardy pioneers of the booming valley of Bear River in northeastern Minnesota assembled for an “exposition” of their harvest. Crops had flourished, and …
BEAR RIVER- In 1911, the hardy pioneers of the booming valley of Bear River in northeastern Minnesota assembled for an “exposition” of their harvest. Crops had flourished, and people attending from communities throughout the state were quite impressed with the farming skills of these Northwoods settlers. The gathering proved to be a rousing success! It was such a success, in fact, that they did it again... and again... and again.
This year’s fair is set for Aug. 17 and 18 and marks the 109th anniversary of that exposition. People still gather. They come from all over the country to use this weekend as a “reunion” of sorts - a time to catch up with friends and families. Through the years more activities have been added. This year activities include special music, a Flea Market, Bazaar, Games for Kids, and Softball Tournament. Outdoor worship services will be held in the pines on Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m.
First and foremost, the fair is here because of exhibits. Local folks still bring in the harvest from their gardens along with canning, baking, flowers, arts, crafts and many more examples of their talents. Each year, the Bear River Fair has attracted community members and visitors alike to take a look at the creativity and crops that abound throughout the area. The Exhibit program is very important to the fair, and we need you to take part in that as well. Have you made anything in the past year? Photos? Crafts? Woodworking? Bring it! Do you have a garden? Bring some fruit or veggies! How about house plants? Take ‘em along! Please enter at least one item to make this year’s fair the best ever! You do not have to be a resident of the area to exhibit. We’d love everyone to enter a few items. The more the merrier! Come and win bragging rights!!! There are categories for both adults and youth. Regulations and premium lists are available at www.BearriverMn.com or from Jane Bartlett at 218-376-4556. Exhibits must be entered on Saturday morning, Aug. 17, between 9 a.m. and 12 noon.
Treasures old and new are found by poking around at the Bear River Fair Flea Market booths. You never know what you will find - from antiques and gently-used items to wonderful items from Direct Sales companies, to newly crafted products and fresh baked goods. Contact Jane at 218-376-4556 for further information regarding setting up a table. More shopping may be done at the Mini Bazaar where you can purchase new items crafted by some of the incredibly talented people in the area. Hazel is the contact person for the Bazaar, and you may contact her at 218-969-3755.
There’s food, too. A good gathering, after all, must have good food - and lots of it! Along with the outdoor food booth, there will be a wonderful pig roast on Saturday night – including live music from 3 – 7 p.m. by the “Lake Street Gang.” Tickets are available in advance or at the door. Contact Jane at 218-376-4556 for advance tickets – or get them from anyone involved with the fair. Sunday brings a morning worship service followed by a dinner of Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes. Leave room for dessert, because the Bear River Church Pie Social follows the dinner. Casey Aro, a favorite for all ages, will be providing music and stories on Sunday afternoon from 1 – 3 p.m.
The Softball Tournament has become a great part of the fair, and will be happening on Saturday and Sunday. Come to watch, and to cheer for your favorite team! Back this year is the Dunk Tank where you can share in the fun by getting all wet – or getting someone else all wet! (If you’re willing to take a dip in the tank, let Jane know!)
Are you able to help out with the fair in any way? Let us know. We would love to have you join our crew! Keep your ears open for more information on this wonderful annual tradition. If you have questions or are willing to help, you may contact Bruce at 480-213-0767 or Jane at 218-376-4556.
The Bear River Community Center/Old Bear River School is handicapped accessible and is located at the intersection of Hwys. 22 and 5.