The opening day of the Steele County Free Fair is Tuesday, August 15. However a number of 4-H projects are judged well advance. In fact, judging begins this Thursday, August 3, with the clothing categories. They include clothes made by the 4-Her and clothing purchased by the 4-Her. Clothes made by 4-Hers are modeled for judges and then judged on the fit of the article along with the actual construction of the piece based on quality of sewing. This will start at 7PM Thursday at the Owatonna Art Center. The public is invited to stop in and watch.

Saturday, August 5, marks the beginning of the dog judging. This starts at 9AM outside the beer garden. Categories include agility, which includes an obstacle course and maybe using the teeter totter and such. Dog obedience will also be judged at that time. There is also the rally aspect of dog judging. This consists of a course never seen by the owner or dog beforehand. The master then has to guide his dog through this course and follow the instructions on the signs. For example a sign may say do a figure 8. This is also a timed event and the public is invited to stop out and take in this part of the fair as well.

While the actual fair doesn't start for a couple of weeks, some judging begins in literally a matter of hours from now.