Blue Earth County Fair hit by vandals & thieves

It was a tough weekend for fair organizers at the Blue Earth County Fair.

Early Saturday morning, a volunteer was seriously injured in a crash while testing a race track for a grandstand event.

Then early Sunday morning, vandals and thieves struck the fairgrounds, damaging signage, and equipment. Fair organizer Robin Tietz said the incidents happened sometime between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. Sunday.  Tietz said road signs had been painted, donated vehicles were damaged, and items were stolen from some of the vendor booths.

A press release from the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Office echos Tietz’s grievances.  “Unknown individuals stole t-shirts and other small items from vendor booths at the fair that were closed for the night, tractors and lawn mowers parked as displays were damaged and marked with graffiti and traffic, political and advertising signs were defaced with spray paint,” says the release.

Cpt Paul Barta said the dollar amount in damages and thefts is expected to be relatively low.

Tietz said some of the graffiti contained words that were completely inappropriate for families coming to enjoy the fair.

Thursday, the opening day of the fair, was “spectacular,” according to Tietz.  But the accident early Saturday left many of the board members with little to sleep trying to run the fair.  “There were a lot of tears shed with everything,” said Tietz.  “But along with the tears came many smiles from the ‘thank yous’ from kids and stuff,” she said with tears in her voice.

“It’s not going to deter us,” said Tietz.  “We will have a 163rd Blue Earth County Fair.”

The vandalism and thefts remain under investigation.  Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at (507) 304-4863.  Tips can also be made through Crimestoppers of Minnesota.


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