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Column: It's almost time for demo derbies

The summer is soaring by. Dew Days and the Soybean Festival have already come and gone, yet we still have more to look forward to. One of the most thrilling Farmington events of the year is nearly upon us: the Dakota County Fair. In the past I've written about my love of the demo derby, a sporting event which consists of cars smashing into each other in a big, muddy pit until only one car is still running. It's sort of like a vehicular mosh pit sweaty, dirty, loud and exhilarating.

This year the brilliant planners at the Dakota County Fair are upping the demo derby ante. Wednesday, August 11, at 7:30 PM, history will be made in Farmington. The first ever lawn tractor demo derby has been announced. Tickets are already on sale on the Dakota County Fair web site.

When I first moved to Farmington 13 years ago my neighbors used to race their lawn tractors down the block. One night, shortly after moving to this lovely city, I joked with a college friend over the phone about the lawn tractor racing. I got the impression she thought I was being facetious. When she pulled up for a dinner party at my house that Saturday a couple of neighbors were halfway down the block, roaring towards her small car on their John Deeres. After that, none of my pals doubted my Farmington stories.

The lawn tractor demo derby is only one of many exciting events I can't wait to attend at this year's Dakota County Fair. Among them are the Mutton Bustin' and the Greased Pig Contest. I love anything involving pigs, from the Kiss the Pig contest at Dew Days to the biggest boar at the State Fair. (Remember, that is boar, spelled B-O-A-R, not B-O-R-E. I once told my husband we were going to see the biggest boar at the State Fair and he thought I bought tickets for Garrison Keillor's grandstand show.)

During this year's Greased Pig contest 4-H kids will be chasing a slippery piglet for the honor of toting home a first, second or third place trophy. Not quite as exciting as a lawn tractor demo derby, but right up there in the coolness factor. The Mutton Bustin' contest is a kind of sheep rodeo for little ones weighing less than 65 pounds and eager to ride a 30-inch tall sheep for as long as possible. As always, Farmington residents stress safety first, and all of the children participating will be required to wear a helmet. The Mutton Bustin' and the Greased Pig contest will both be held on Saturday, Aug. 14.

This year I'll need to buy the weeklong parking pass, since I'll probably be spending most of the second week of August at the Dakota County Fair. Between the pigs, sheep and lawn tractors, I'll hardly have time to sleep. Not to mention the rock concert by Touched on Saturday night and the teddy bear giveaway at the Dakota County Gun Club booth.

See you at the Fair!

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

(651) 460-6606