By Diane Graff of the Daily Times staff | Watertown Daily Times

BEAVER DAM – “The fair board took on a new venture this year,” Dodge County Fair Association President Jim Schoenike told members of the press Monday night at the annual press banquet held in Beaver Dam.

And hopefully, the work will be completed when the 123rd annual Dodge County Fair kicks off Aug. 18-22 at the fairgrounds east of Beaver Dam.

The fair association has moved ahead on the reconstruction of restroom facilities on the grounds. Earlier this year, the toilets located south of the grandstand were razed for a new structure that will be 50 percent larger. Restrooms under the grandstand will remain intact and supplement the new facility, along with the restrooms added to the youth building several years ago.

The new facility has been made possible with several donations, including one made at the banquet. Helen Weisensel, treasurer for the Dodge County 4-H Leaders Association, presented Schoenike and Co-Secretary/Treasurer Sharon Keil a check for $10,000. Earlier this year, the organizers of Farm Technology Days in 2009 presented a check to the fair group for $50,000 and the Dodge County Board of Supervisors approved spending $25,000 on the facility.

“This is a huge project for the grounds that was badly needed,” Schoenike said.

“We think we have a great lineup again,” Keil said. “It is great to see new and up and coming talent,” she added.

Three popular country entertainers and a rock band will head the entertainment for the fair this year. Josh Turner will kick off the fair’s evening entertainment on Wednesday, with Kellie Pickler performing on Thursday and Eric Church on Saturday. Each will perform one show at 8 p.m.

As has been the tradition for several years, Friday’s entertainment will feature a rock band, with Tesla taking the stage.

Ticket prices will be modified slightly, with daily admission remaining at $6 before 2 p.m. but increasing to $10 after 2 p.m., $1 more than last year. Season tickets will be unchanged, costing $25 before the start of the fair and $30 thereafter.

“You cannot see this top name entertainment elsewhere for $10,” Keil said.

The practice to allow season ticket holders to exchange their tickets for plastic wristbands to facilitate entry to the grounds will again be offered this year.

Along with the top-name entertainment, there will also be the two heats of demolition derby on Sunday. Because of the demolition derby’s popularity, there will be no reserving seats for the event, Schoenike said. “For 2010 and beyond, there will be no reserve seating in the grandstand on Sunday,” he said.

Fairgoers may still put down blankets and chairs in the infield for other grandstand performers during the week, the fair president said. The change will be for Sunday only, he stressed.

Also this year, no animals that are not exhibited at the fair will be allowed on the grounds, Schoenike said. No dogs and no exotic animals will be allowed, he said.

The fair board also agreed to offer one free space in the exhibitors tent for an area organization. This year, that space will be occupied by the honor flight program that offers a free trip to Washington, D.C., to World War II veterans to view the World War II memorial. Suggestions for other organizations in future years are being sought.

Alice in Dairyland, Christine Lindner, the former Christine Lepple of Beaver Dam, presented a short program on the importance of agriculture in the state. She was presented a plaque from the Wisconsin Legislature by state Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau.

State Fairest of the Fair Natalie Salkowski from Ozaukee County was also on hand to encourage the women seeking the Dodge County fairest of the fair title. The woman selected from the county will advance to the state competition in January 2011.

Amanda Hetzel, the 2009 fairest of the fair, said she was surprised at how large the county is, having been raised in the Rubicon area. She noted there are a lot of family-orientated things to do in the county and talked about her experience at the dairy brunch. She thanked her parents, boyfriend and sponsors for support during the past year.

Applicants competing for this year’s title include:

– Michele Behl, 21, the daughter of David and Dianne Behl. She is a senior at Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee and plans to be an elementary or middle school English teacher as well as a cheerleading coach. In school, Behl participated in cheerleading, Future Teacher’s Education Association, was an academic affairs tutor and a writer for WLC’s newspaper. Behl is a recipient of the Rath Distinguished Scholar Award and enjoys water-skiing and working with children.

– Megan Forbes, 24, is the daughter of Reuben and Jane Horton of Randolph. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and participated in science club, Spanish Club and served in the U.S. Army. Her goal is to be the best mom she is capable of and to utilize her skills in the health care field to serve those in need. She is active in her church as a nursery attendant and was a gold medalist in Badger State Games figure skating.

– Margot Groh, 19, is the daughter of Dan and Marge Groh, Columbus. She is a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and is studying electrical engineering and Spanish. Groh was active in Astico Perseverance 4-H Club and served on the county leaders executive board as a youth representative. In college, she is part of the Society of Women Engineers. Groh also enjoys reading, sewing and spending time with her family and friends.

– Danielle Hammer, 23, is the daughter of Charles and Nancy of Beaver Dam. Hammer is a junior at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and is working toward her degree in agricultural business and international relations. She is currently on the publicity committee for the 2010 Pierce County Wisconsin Farm Technology Days. Hammer has traveled and studies in many countries to promote agriculture.

– Brittni Marshall, 20, is the daughter of Vicki Marshall of Watertown. She is a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and plans to become a physical therapist. Marshall participated in 4-H and helped teach dance, scrapbooking and stamping. She likes to travel and hopes to study abroad. Marshall also enjoys rock climbing, dancing and spending time with friends and family.

– Marissa McDonald, 18, of Fox Lake, is the daughter of John and Teresa McDonald. She is a sophomore at Marquette University and plans to attend medical school and become a pediatric oncologist. McDonald volunteers at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, participates in the Rugby Club and university chorus, and is a recipient of the MU Ignatius Scholarship. McDonald enjoys singing, swimming and nature activities.

– Jessica Pillsbury, 21, is the daughter of Jerry and Cindy Pillsbury of Watertown. She is a senior at Carroll University and plans to attend graduate school to be a sports dietitian. Pillsbury is a member of Habitat for Humanity and was co-captain of her high school dance team. She is a recipient of the 4-H Key Award, a state Brown Swiss bell ringer, and state and national milk production and cheese yield award recipients. Pillsbury also enjoys scrapbooking and photography.

– Lynn Paszek, 20, is the daughter of Dennis and Christine Paszek of Juneau. She is a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and hopes to become an agricultural journalist. Paszek is a member of Sigma Alpha-Alpha Tau Agri-cultural Society and Badger Dairy Club. She is a recipient of the Watertown Agri-Business Club scholarship and participates in many community service activities through Sigma Alpha. She enjoys cooking, reading and spending time by the lake and reading on the Memorial Union terrace.

– Erin Strade, 18, is the daughter of Shelley Mertig of Beaver Dam. She is a graduate of Beaver Dam High School and will be attending UW-Oshkosh in the fall. Strade loves music and hopes to make performance in either theater or music her career. She participated in musicals and drama productions at Beaver Dam High School. Strade also volunteers with the American Red Cross.

– Vicki Voigt, 20, is the daughter of Kevin and Amy Voigt. Voigt completed her associate’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Fond du Lac. Her career goal is to work in accounting and human resources. Voigt raises, breeds and shows rabbits and was the National Dutch Rabbit Queen. She also volunteers with vacation Bible school at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Juneau and is a leader in the Oak Grove Owls 4-H Club.

– Rebecca Zastrow, 18, is the daughter of Donald and Linda Zastrow. She is a Horicon High School graduate and will be attending Concordia Univer-sity in Ann Arbor, Mich. Zastrow’s goal is to return to Wisconsin to be a high school art teacher. In school, she participated in Future Business Leaders of America, band, academic bowl and National Honor Society. Zastrow enjoys teaching and volunteer work.

– Kiersten Zimmermann, 19, is the daughter of Gene and Gwen Zimmermann of Fox Lake. She is a graduate of Waupun High School. She is currently a dance instructor in Columbus and is in the process of buying a farm and forming a partnership. Zimmermann was a member of FFA, band, choir and enjoys sewing, baking and scrapbooking.

Final interviews and the crowning of the 2010 fairest of the fair will be held at the fair during the program set to begin at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 18, on the Hartford radio station stage.

Original article at: Watertown Daily Times |