After all these years, fairs still hold magic

Published 9:04 am Saturday, August 22, 2009

The fair is over and summer is slipping away on us. I remember what a thrill it was to go to the fair when I was really young. We would take my dad to work and then Mom and all of us kids would go to the fair and stay till after 11 p.m. or so, then pick Dad up from work. He worked second shift at the Buckeye Iron and Brass Works located in downtown Dayton, Ohio. While at the fair we could go on one ride and get one treat. It was always a hard decision between cotton candy, caramel apples, and an ice cream cone dipped in chocolate and covered with nuts. Each cost a quarter, as did the rides at that time. Am I aging myself or what? We would go through the 4-H building and check out all the projects, the floral building, the coliseum, barns, etc. Mom would pack a picnic and we would go back to the car to eat at supper time. We usually chose the Ferris wheel for our ride and went on that after dark so we could see all the lights of the fair. It was a magical time.

As we got older and were involved in 4-H, we would be able to go to the fair more than one day, depending on how many projects we had that year. There was judging, setting up our club exhibit, style reviews and programs. I also became a majorette in the Jefferson Township High School marching band when I was in the seventh grade. This meant another trip to the fair, as the bands had a show and competition with other bands in the county and state. This competition also took us to the Ohio State Fair; this was really an exciting venture, since I had never been to the state fair before.

During the Freeborn County Fair we had almost a thousand visitors through the museum and historical village. We had many wonderful comments about our facility and collections and even got some new members. We handed out flyers telling about events coming up yet this year. We had many young families that came through and the children showed their parents what they see when they visit during school tours. We want to say a special thank you to the Fair Board and to our volunteers for making this a successful week during the year for FCHS.

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September will soon be here and will be a very busy month at the museum. We have a four-hour AARP defensive driving class scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 15, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. The cost is $19 and you must pre-register. The annual Autumn in the Village event will be Sunday, Sept. 20, from noon to 4 p.m. We have some new things planned for this event, so you won’t want to miss attending. We also have several class reunions, a wedding in our village church and other programs throughout the month.

We are working on updating some exhibits and making plans for next year’s events.

We have a bus trip coming up on Oct. 8; its title is Lefse & Leafing. We will be visiting the Norsland Lefse factory in Rushford for a tour and lunch, a drive through the Root River Valley to see the turning of the leaves and possibly a stop at an apple orchard. Join us for a beautiful autumn trip. The cost is $49 for members and $54 for non members. The cost includes your lunch. Please call or stop by to register for the trip.

Save Nov. 7 for an entertaining evening as we present “An Evening Tribute to John Denver” at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center. It is an acoustic guitarist performance by David G. Courey. Watch for details in the near future.

Pat Mulso is the executive director of the Freeborn County Historical Museum in Albert Lea.