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OWATONNA — While 4-H projects remain a staple of the 4-H building on the Steele County Fairgrounds, the organization has added several new offerings this year for the Steele County Free Fair.

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OWATONNA — This year is a special year at the Steele County Free Fair with three businesses milestone anniversaries at the annual get-together.

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OWATONNA — Just when it seems as if the official mascots of the Steele County Free Fair — Stella and Steely — were going to be on “vacation” this year, two couples stepped in to help keep them at the fair.

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There is an old proverb I vaguely recall that summed up my trip to the Steele Country Free Fair on Friday: “Man cannot live by cheese curds alone.”

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OWATONNA — Many parents at the fair harbor fears of a child lost in the crowds, and a close call Thursday underscored the need to keep an eye on children on the fairgrounds.

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The weekend is here for the Steele County Free Fair, and the crowds keep pouring in. Saturday is Old-Time Day, with highlights such as the antique tractor pull in the morning and the 6 p.m. Enduro Race. Sunday is Pepsi Family Day, so look for families with children enjoying the exotic pettin…

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If you haven’t made it out to the Steele County Free Fair yet this week, there’s no need to fret. With three days remaining in the largest county fair in the state, there’s plenty of time to enjoy all the food, fun and festivities that it has to offer.

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OWATONNA — The forehead was a bit higher than I expected, the eyebrows much bushier and somewhat resembling two caterpillars wrestling, the cheeks puffy, and the chin — well, there were two of them.

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Four days remain for this year’s Steele County Free Fair and there’s plenty of eats and entertainment for everyone despite damp conditions. And the good news is that the weather is supposed to be getting better.

For the first time in recent history there will be no poultry and bird competitions and displays at the Steele County Free Fair. The Minnesota Board of Animal Health has issued a directive to cancel all bird exhibitions at county fairs, the State Fair and other gatherings of birds. The Board…

The Steele County Fair Board has finalized its designated smoking areas on the fairgrounds. Beginning this year, smoking will not be allowed on the fairgrounds during the fair except in designated areas. Smoking will only be allowed in parking lots, the fenced-in area of the Beer Garden, an …

The drawing "Boots" by Jason Rodenkirchen took home the Grand Champion Award at the Steele County Free Fair. (Submitted photo)

Pamela Mikeworth, pictured here with her mixed media entry "Summer Delight", was named the reserve champion in the Fine Arts Department at the Steele County Free Fair. (Submitted photo)

Macey Tellijohn took home the People's Choice Award at the Steele County Free Fair for her drawing of Miley Cyrus. (Submitted photo)

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OWATONNA — During this year’s Steele County Free Fair, there will be some limitations on the use of e-cigarettes after the fair board decided to treat the devices the same as they do traditional tobacco cigarettes.

As the weather improves, progress on the new barn on the Steele County Fairgrounds is taking place. The barn looks gigantic as it occupies its new space on the east side of the fairgrounds.

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There are hundreds of sights, sounds, shows and savory bites at the Steele County Free Fair, but there are only six days to enjoy them. This is your guide to what you should not miss the last weekend of the fair.

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Though the 2014 election is still more than 440 days away, Republican candidates for the U.S. House and Minnesota governor’s office were campaigning for votes on Thursday at the Steele County Free Fair.

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OWATONNA — No matter what corner of the Steele County fairgrounds you are checking out, there is probably an interesting exhibition or activity right over your shoulder. There are traditional favorites, such as the auto museum, the petting zoo and the Isaak Walton Building. There are some ol…

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Despite the fact that the Steele County Free Fair didn't officially open until after an opening ceremony at about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, many people had already visited the fairgrounds earlier in the day to get a hold of their favorite snacks, many of which only come around during the fair.

OWATONNA — This year’s Steele County Free Fair is going to be “cool.”

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“It’s the Place to be Seen in 2013,” and there will be thousands of folks from all over southern Minnesota and Northern Iowa who will be seen at the 2013 Steele County Free Fair, Aug. 13-18. Admission to the fair is free with more than 7,000 free exhibits including 2,000 animals, the FFA Chi…