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Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

To the return of the Freeborn County Fair this year after all.

With COVID-19 safety restrictions lessening in the coming weeks, we were thrilled to hear the announcement this week that the Freeborn County Fair is back on the calendar for August — entertainment and all.

We thank the Freeborn County Fair Board, working with county officials, who decided to reverse their earlier decision to cancel the fair because of worries that capacity restrictions could create financial concern, particularly when having to pay for large entertainment.

That earlier decision was made before Gov. Tim Walz announced that the Minnesota State Fair would be “pretty close to normal” this year and that most restrictions would be lifted just before Memorial Day weekend. Walz took it a step further this week and announced an end to the statewide mask mandate, following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s decision to ease mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people.

It has been a difficult year for everyone, and the fair gives us all something to look forward to.

Thank you to those who will do all the hard work in the next few months to make it happen. 

To the person who drove through the window at the Albert Lea Art Center.

We were shocked to see the damage early this week left behind from a vehicle that reportedly drove through one of the front windows of the Albert Lea Art Center Saturday morning and then left.

This is sad to see anywhere, but particularly so in our historic downtown and for a nonprofit organization that showcases the work of area artists. Not only was the front window damaged in the building, but also the window frame, the carpeting, one of the displays used to hang art and some of the art itself of the artist whose work was on display.

We hope the Art Center can get answers on what happened that night and that whoever is responsible will be held accountable.

To Minnesota’s fishing opener.

The fishing opener in Minnesota takes place this weekend — unofficially marking the beginning of summer. The season will now be open for walleye, bass, northern pike and lake trout.

If you’re 16 or older in the state, you will need to buy a Minnesota fishing license.

We encourage people to get out and enjoy some of the area’s outdoor fishing opportunities. With several lakes in the area, Albert Lea has a lot to offer.

Don’t forget because of the cool temperatures so far this year, the water temperature might be cooler than some would expect. We hope people will plan accordingly with items such as life jackets, communication and noise-making devices and a first aid kit when fishing by boat, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources suggests.

We hope people will make memories out on our community’s lakes this weekend either by shore or out on a boat — and whether by yourself or with family members.