This year, the Aitkin County Fair will have a noticeable addition: a large red barn in the northeast corner of the fair grounds.
This barn is the result of three years of fundraising and planning, which kicked off with a $50,000 pledge from American Peat Technology, followed by tens of thousands of dollars from other local donors and various volunteer fundraisers.
Last September, the barn went up, and beween then and the county fair, volunteers worked long hours to finish electrical work, install extensive woodwork and set up retractable stalls, making the building available as a storage area during the off-season.
In addition to storage, the building could be used for community activities (perhaps a community barn dance?)
“Grand Champion Sponsors” who gave over $10,000 to the project include American Peat Technology, Aitkin County, Bit & Bridle Saddle Club, the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board, the Mille Lacs Energy Community Trust and the Young Riders 4-H Club. A full list of the other 48 sponsors will also be displayed in the barn.
The official ribbon-cutting ceremony is to be held the opening day of the Aitkin County Fair at 6 p.m.