Area residents flock to Dodge County Expo
Parking spaces were virtually non-existent Saturday morning as Dodge County residents came to the 21st annual Dodge County Expo.
The yearly event gives local businesses and organizations a chance to meet with residents and show what they have to offer. There is also plenty of food and free entertainment to be enjoyed.
The Expo features only those businesses and organizations that are either physically located in the county or are members of a Dodge County Chamber of Commerce. More than 100 vendors were on hand to show their wares and the event annually draws in excess of 3,000 visitors. Between all the vendors, a visitor to the Expo could learn about almost every service or product available in the county.
The doors opened at 8 a.m. and for those attending early a continental breakfast was available. For the rest of the day, there was also food available for purchase as well offerings available from vendors including pulled pork sandwiches from Omar’s Kitchen and popcorn, cookies and candy from other booths.
The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office was there with a variety of handouts for both adults and youngsters while Jessica Schleck of the Southeast Minnesota Toward Zero Death was offering the adults the opportunity to try out an interactive computerized driving test to see how they performed under a variety of conditions.
You could get your glasses cleaned at the Kasson Eye Care booth and learn all about gardening from the University of Minnesota Extension Service.
The arts were well represented by the Mantorville Art Guild and the Mantorville Theatre Company. For those interested in history there were displays from the Dodge County Historical Society and the Zumbro Bend Rendezvous which is held in September in Dodge Center.
The Fishin’ to Fight Cancer team from Dodge County Relay for Life also had a display promoting their upcoming Burger Battle. By purchasing a punch card from the group an individual can get a burger at eight Dodge County restaurants in May and June and then will be able to vote on the best burger. Participating restaurants include Dodge Country Club, Uncle Mony’s, the Saloon at the Hubble House, Ginny’s, Pure Country Family Dining, Misplaced Magnolia, Country Pleasures and Events. Winner of the Burger Battle will be announced at the Relay for Life on Aug. 2.
Dodge County Public Health/Dodge Refreshed was also there promoting their Farm to Table dinner in June.
Among the businesses at the Expo was a new one, Deb Horejsi, who is an independent affiliate of My Daily Choice/Hempworx. She was offering information on the usefulness of CBD oil for both humans and pets.
For those politically included, both the Democratic Farmer Labor and Republican parties had informational booths. If your interest was in agricultural issues, both the Dodge County Soil and Water Conservation District and Dodge County Concerned Citizens also had displays.
The event wasn’t all informational as there was also a variety of entertainment.
A staple at Dodge County events, Rookie the Clown was on hand to entertain the younger set with his balloon animals. There was also a scavenger hunt for the youngsters.
The Aztec Dancers also performed several times and a group of actors from the Mantorville Theatre Company’s production of Church Basement Ladies 2 performed musical selections throughout the day.