"Minnesota’s Largest County Fair"
The first fair in Steele County was held on October 17, 1860 and premiums during that year were quite interesting. Best 6 yoke of working oxen - $6, best wagon made in county - $3, best buggy made in county - $5, best team and plow - $2, best butter churn - $1, best corn and best 100 lbs of flour - 50¢.
The fair has always attracted merchandise and food vendors and now hosts over 500 booths with over 100 different food stands each year. In 2009 the fair had vendors from over 26 states. In addition to the merchandise and food stands today’s fair features 24 bands, everything from old time to hard rock and dixieland to gospel music.
With attendance in the 1920′s reaching 30,000 to over a quarter of a million visitors today, plus the hundreds of volunteers working together annually to assure a successful fair you can see why the Steele County Free Fair has been billed as Minnesota’s largest county fair for over 80 years.