The Show Goes On
It was a dark and stormy and hot and beautiful Dodge County Fair.
The 160th-annual event, held July 19-23 in Kasson, featured an early bout of heavy rain, and Fairgoers took shelter when tornado sirens went off Wednesday. Hot weather set in Friday and Saturday. And Sunday was lovely.
The weather couldn’t stop crowds from enjoying the summer extravaganza.
Sonya Schroeder, 16, of Rochester, clad in a rain coat, said she enjoyed mini-doughnuts, lemonade, and a foot-long hot dog.
“I think it’s definitely dampened the population of the Fair,” she said Friday. “But it’s still fun. The food’s still good.”
“I hate the ‘hot,’ but they love it,” said Amy Christian of Rochester, visiting with husband Kevin and their children. “We do it for the kids. And they got what they wanted – cotton candy.” The Fair featured a bit of everything: from FFA goats and roosters to Royal White Bengal tigers, Bingo, a talent show, a milk shake shoot-out, a singing cowgirl, lawn mower races, bull-riding, carnival rides, food galore, and music, music, music.
All the grandstand shows were held except Wednesday’s mutton-busting and barrel-racing. Friday’s Tri-State Tractor Pull also was canceled.
It cooled off nicely for Sunday’s Hall of Fame program, which honored Friends of the Fair, honorary Fair Board members, the present Fair Board, Dodge County commissioners, veterans – and West Concord-area Century Farm owners Mike Shelton and Cyd Einck.
“We had a lot of challenges at the beginning,” Fair President Marilyn Lermon said. “I think things went pretty good for enduring the weather and stuff. You just take things as they go and keep changing your plans and improvising, and do whatever you can do to solve the problems and stuff.
“I think we had some good crowds out here,” she said. “In fact, Wednesday night after that storm, we had 500 people up here in the grandstand. I’ve got some good help. Everybody pitches in. It gets done.”
Please see pages D1 through D6 for more Fair photos and coverage.