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Brawls shut down Anoka County Fair early

Deputies responded to reports of two separate large fights at the fairgrounds in Anoka Saturday night, and the decision was made to shut down operations.
Credit: KARE

ANOKA, Minn. — Law enforcement officials and organizers of the Anoka County Fair will be discussing the future of the event and how to keep things safe after at least two major brawls caused the fair to be shut down early Saturday night.

The Anoka County Sheriff's Office said deputies were dispatched to the fairgrounds at about 9:45 that evening on reports of a large fight near the Midway. Responding officers helped disperse the crowd and those involved in the brawl were escorted off the fairgrounds. 

Just over an hour later a second fight involving multiple people was reported inside the fairgrounds. Anoka County deputies and police, and officers from both Ramsey and Coon Rapids responded, and ultimately decided that the fair should be shut down. Minor injuries were reported, but the sheriff says those who were hurt refused medical attention. 

“It is tragic when selfish and immature actions of a few negatively impact so many others on what should have been an enjoyable summer evening at the fair. We will continue to hold public safety as paramount and will not tolerate actions by those who cross the line in Anoka County,” shares Sheriff James Stuart.

Stuart says the incident remains under investigation. 

Disturbances at community festivals are not unheard of. The city of New Hope pulled the plug on its annual Duk Duk Daze festival after several years of fighting and incidents occurring on the grounds. Things got so bad in July of 2019 that police and security officers closed the gates, and moved the popular fireworks display up an hour to short-circuit the fights and disruptive behavior. 

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