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If you want to see as many people as possible, come to the Fair. That is the philosophy of Monty Mrotz, who tries to plan his vacation during the Steele County Fair for just that purpose.

Some of the graduating classes in our area are taking advantage of that fact as well and are also planning to hold their reunions during the fair.  They feel it is a good time and place to join friends and classmates as they take in the fair. One class I know of is the Ellendale High School class of 1970. They plan to take a short break from the fair and meet at the Spare Time Bowling Alley in Owatonna, which is just south of the fairgrounds.

The growth of our local fairs has been outstanding over the years. More and more things are displayed and the variety in the grandstand shows is wonderful. Our local fairs are events that you don't want to miss. It is interesting to see all of the 4-H and Open Class entries, which this year will be missing the poultry exhibits. I know that the Freeborn County Fair is planning on including some different poultry type exhibits instead.

It seems like only yesterday that my family was involved in 4-H and were busy preparing their exhibits.  We learned a lot and though I know there have been a great deal of changes in the 4-H program over the years, it still is an educational project in an ever changing world.

Washing pigs and cattle in preparation for show, as well as making those last stitches on clothing and craft projects, were important back in my time. I remember my mother purchased a Viking sewing machine that my sister Kaye and I used to make clothing exhibits for the fair, but more so for school and other events.

My mother remembers that Arlene Olson Kalton, from the Ellendale area, was a champion seamstress. I am quite sure she will tell you how she won a champion ribbon at the fair with a suit that she had made that somehow she had stitched the wrong way, but her error was not detected by the judges. 

Arlene sewed many clothes over the years, and I am quite sure she still does. She sews coats and shirts, etc. for not only herself, but for her husband as well.

Back in the early years people sewed all the clothes they needed, as they could not go to the stores and purchase clothes like we do now.  The 4-H program now even offers a class for clothes you buy in addition to clothes that you make.

My aunt Snookie, Phyllis Hagen, showed champion beef cattle during her 4-H years. She walked them every day and as a result, they became like pets. It was hard for her to leave them behind when the fair came to a close as they had become such a part of her life as she fed, walked and took care of them for so many months, preparing them for the fair.

I can remember many of meetings our Bath-Geneva 4-H Club held over the years and the number of people who took part. I also remember how each year we would hold 4-H tours and would visit the farms of many of those who were part of the club and see their farm animals and gardens, etc. Preparing for our annual 4-H booth was another big project.

It is sad to see how few 4-H clubs now exist. Life changes and as a result there are not many exhibits in those buildings at our local fair anymore. We are still thankful that many people still make or prepare items that they enter as exhibits at many of our local fairs each year, and it is interesting to see those entries.

And what would the fair be if it didn't have a midway and food to eat? Most generally you can still find a few of the good old standbys on the midway, the merry go round and the ferris wheel and such, but every year there always seems to be at least one or two new things for the younger generation to try.

And of course everyone has to have at least one pronto pup, some onion rings, cotton candy, sno-cones, or some popcorn before they go home. And here again, there always seems to be some great new food items to try and enjoy. 

Speaking of fairs...They are being held a bit later this year due to the fact the date for Labor Day, which is September 7th this year, is a great deal later than usual. The Waseca County Fair took place the week of July 15-19, the Olmstead County Fair will be held July 23-26; the Freeborn County Fair will be held August 4-9, the Mower County Fair is August 11-16, and the Steele County Fair runs August 18-23.   The annual Minnesota State Fair will be held August 27 through Labor Day.

Some of our Star Eagle readers have commented they like to read about events such as family and school reunions, birthdays and anniversaries, and birth and wedding announcements.  In order to read about these important things we need our faithful readers to pass along the information to us.  Also if you have an idea for a story that you think would be of interest to our readers, please contact me. 

If you have birthdays and anniversaries you would like include, or news to share please contact me via e-mail, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; by postal mail, P.O. Box 192, Geneva, MN 56035 or telephone, 507-256-4405.

This week’s birthdays and anniversaries include:

• Thursday, July 23rd: Robin Darrington, Charlotte Joan Tuttle, Barb Kubat, Jackie Layland, Diane Broskoff, Jim Brown, Ron Kaiser, Kelly Pitcock, Carl Glienke Sr., Nathan & Michelle Jacobson, Brooke & Isaiah Lundberg, LuAnn & Keith Miller

• Friday, July 24th: Marilyn Goslee Jurrens, Robert Carter Edwards, Katie May, Joy Peterson, Pat Schulz, Jeff Thompson, Phillip Briggs, Denise & Richard Olson, Trisha & Casey Johnson, Greg & Shari Lassahn

• Saturday, July 25th: Sue Hill, Kari Janka Hareid, Stan Mork, Ivy Oland, Ann Falksen, Rick Hagen, Cole Pospesel, Kristine & Jesse Routh

• Sunday, July 26th: Clara White, her 105th birthday; Jordyn Marie Wobschall, Kristine Broskoff Routh, Mark Bartness, Jane Osmundson, Amy Radke, Jean Smith, Scott & Cheryl Christensen, and Jessica (Tufte) & Rob Arnold, who will be celebrating their first anniversary.

• Monday, July 27th: Ben Groth, Lori Dirksen, Nita Dooley, Mark Helmers, Nicki Spurr, Rick Spurr, Rhiannon Farr, Alison Underland, Dave Schulz, Kory Klecker, Lillian Rose Olson, Steve & Jinny Nielsen, Travis & Ashley Broskoff, Marguerite & Milton Nelson

• Tuesday July 28th: Mike Luhring, Kari Wayne, DeWayne Jensen, Dennis Jensen, Penny Jensen, Eric Lee, Christian Burnes, Donnie Turvold, Jim & Maryalice Hanson, George & Sue Stieglbauer, Gary & Emily Ayers, Melissa & Scott Michie, Ellie & Chad Schutrop

• Wednesday, July 29th: Randy Dokken, Doug Flugum, Candie Underland, Jennifer Huber, Dory Hunt, Jim Misgen, Brent Jepson, Lorrell Beaber, Todd Wangen

• Thursday, July 30th: Tregg Hagen, Levi Horvei, Trevin Andrew Stollard, Scott Briggs, Amy Hohansee VanderSyde, Gary Sloan, Cindy Vaith, Larry Jensen, Kay Cassen, Shane Christensen, Cindy Esplan, Dani Layland, Kurt & Kelly Krumwiede, Nathan & Lindsey Schlaak, Jerry & Tanya Blouin

• Friday, July 31st: Zane Andrew Miller, Michelle Eaker Stevens, Coni Misgen Evenson, Lorie Paulson, Joan Mast, Brian & Pam Muri

• Saturday, August 1st: Parker Brant Simon, Wendy Schultz, Dale Mrotz, Karen Vaith, Stanley Jensen, Lonny Thostenson, Tad Cornelius, Karen Brockman, Rick Christensen, Larry & Carol Spear and Trevor & Courtney (Vallarelle) Tracy, who will celebrate their 1st anniversary.

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