Invisible killer silences another great event
A major highlight of my summers ever since growing up on the farm has been the county and state fairs. Ever since I can remember, I have been involved with a fair in some shape or form.
One of my first memories is showing pigs at the county fair. I still remember showing a champion hog and having my picture in the local newspaper. You would have thought I won the lottery as I had so much excitement built up within.
My enthusiasm and excitement for the fairs has never really dwindled even as I get older and my showing days are long over.
About 10 years ago I became involved with the Steele County Fair when I took over this newspaper. Ever summer since then we have produced a special section highlighting Minnesota’s largest county fair. In addition, we have always had a commercial booth at the fair, which has provided a great opportunity to visit with our readers face-to-face.
It comes with great sadness and disappointment that this year’s fair has been wiped away by the coronavirus pandemic. Besides the Steele Fair, many other wonderful county fairs as well as our “great Minnesota get together” are all going by the wayside this year. It seems like all our great community festivals and events are falling victim to this silent killer. I feared this was going to happen ever since the early stages of the outbreak back in March. I held out hope, but it seemed next to impossible that a fair would be able to operate in a safe manner.
Being involved with the Steele County Fair has allowed me to engage with some great people. From the late Elmer Reseland to the late Jim Gleason and now more recently Scott Kozelka, it has been a pleasure working with these fair managers. I have always marveled at how they have put together a first-class fair. This fair is a purple ribbon fair and the best around.
I know there is a plan in the works to allow 4-H members to still show their projects in competition. Showing at the fair is the pinnacle of the 4-H year. Of course, it won’t be the same as being out at the fair, but at least they will have an opportunity to show. We will follow this in the coming weeks and let you know how that all plays out.
The Steele County Dairy Association is trying to come up with a way to promote the dairy industry. The association was forced to shutter its annual breakfast on the farm promotion, and it also operated a malt booth at the fair and Fourth of July celebration in Blooming Prairie, both of which have been nixed. I’ve heard some rumblings that something may be in the works for people to at least come out and enjoy some malts. We’ll keep you updated when we find out more details.
No matter what comes along it won’t be the same as having the fair in August. But let’s hope this break in the action will allow officials to find a way to make next year’s fair bigger and better than ever before. By then, we are all going to deserve something spectacular to ease our minds of enduring this on-going COVID-19 crisis.
In the meantime, there’s no doubt I will be going through the fair withdrawals. I may need a dose of something strong to pull me through.
Someone needs to go in hot pursuit of silencing the invisible killer that is wreaking havoc on our great way of life.