Years of the SCFF
Steele County Free Fair August 12-17. ENJOY…Here are a few facts:
The very first SCFF was held in 1860…
- 1883 and 1884, the Minnesota State Fair was in Owatonna. There is a poster in the Muckle Museum.
- 1916, a group of Ellendale businessmen made an offer to move the fair…by 1918, new buildings were on the Steele County Fair fairgrounds in Owatonna.
- Luverne Wanous, who played his concertina at the SCFF since 1948, is retired this year.
- A grasshopper invasion caused the SCFF to be only one day in 1874.
- The fair in 1943 was cancelled due to WWII. Gas shortages meant exhibits and entertainment could not make to the fair.
- 1923-1969, butter making competition was one of the biggest attractions at the fair. Over 30 Steele County butter makers competed…today only one butter maker left in Steele County.
- Airplane rides were included as a fair attraction in 1924…the race track was used as the runway.
- “Slide of Life”, from the Courthouse to Central Park, was a big thrill ride held downtown Owatonna in 1906.