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Red River Valley Fair opens Tuesday, July 12

Fair goers ride the "Shocker" at the Red River Valley Fair in West Fargo. 2014 file photo

Good weather and easy-moving traffic is all Red River Valley Fair manager Bryan Schulz is hoping for to make this year's fair, July 12-17, a success.

After 112,000 attended the fair in 2014, the numbers dipped slightly to 102,000 in 2015. It's a drop Schulz attributed in part to the stifling construction on Main Avenue just outside the fair's entrance.

Work on the last phase of a multiyear Main Avenue reconstruction project began last year. Although it continues this summer, more lanes of Main Avenue can be used by motorists.

"We've got four lanes to use instead of just one," Schulz said.

Fairgoers can access the grounds from Interstate 94 and Main Avenue, or via 13th Avenue, this year, he said.

"I'm hoping our numbers, at minimum, remain the same and at best go up," Schulz said.

But with street projects happening throughout the metro area, construction chaos will not likely to keep drivers from the big-name entertainers slated to fill the fair's grandstand each night.

Schulz said while national headliners such as rock band Three Days Grace and country crooners Chris Janson, Big and Rich and Scotty McCreery will perform, this year's fair features many local acts that will open for the big names including North Dakota natives Tigerlily, Blind Joe and 32 Below.

"We've got a great lineup of entertainment overall," he said.

On the free stage, Street Beat a musical dancing group from California, will spin recycled pails and cans into instruments; while the Canine Stars, a dog agility and performance team, will strut their stuff for the first time in West Fargo. Performances of both will be on the free stage Tuesday through Friday.

An old favorite will return the fair this year. Auto racing has been underway Friday nights at the fair's speedway and will be held Sunday, July 17.

"There's been a good attendance out there," Schulz said. "It's one of those things they haven't seen for awhile; they've been out of town, at the lake on the weekends. I think people will want to check it out. They'll have sprints, late models and hobby stocks. The sprints will be a big draw."

Gates will open at 10 a.m. each day of the fair and there will be free gate admission between 11 and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For concerts, the grandstands will open at 6 p.m., with the first act beginning at 8 p.m. each night. Auto racing will begin at 5 p.m. July 17, with the grandstand opening at 4 p.m. for racing spectators.

For a full schedule, visitors can download the free Red River Valley Fair app or or visit online at

Wendy Reuer

Wendy reports for The Forum and West Fargo Pioneer, where she is also assistant editor. A University of Minnesota Morris graduate from North Dakota, Wendy started her career in television news and entertainment in Minnesota and at CBS in Television City, Calif. before working at newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota. 

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